General Medical Outpatient Departments

General Medical Outpatient Departments


Discuss about the General Medical Outpatient Departments.



Being admitted to the hospital is very stressful and anxious especially for the person who requires an outpatient treatment. It is very vital for the patients to feel that they are treated with some kind of respect, dignity and privacy at each and every time. There are varieties of treatments that are embarrassing for some patients. There the hospital has the duty to protect the privacy of its patients and try to minimize any risks that arises as much as possible.
Every person has a right to be respected with dignity, patients are not exempted from this right since they are also human who need to be respected and treated equally. A simple welcome to the patient can make them feel comfortable and relaxed. This will help them not to be stressed hence enabling them to recover from their sickness.
The patients need privacy and respect in time of treatment, private communication is essential since it helps the patient to disclose all the information to the medical practitioner (Humayun, et. al, 2008).
Dying patients and critically ill patients need special treatment since they are vulnerable hence deserve to be treated with utmost respect and privacy. Dying patients should be given a priority by giving them a single room. The environment needs to be quiet and silent in order to protect the patient from stress.

Some patients have got wired culture which is relevant to the intended treatment. The medical practitioner should respect them regardless of the status of their culture.
There are various elements of an informed consent that are used in any designated hospital. The elements are as follows: There has to be an explanation of the purpose of the treatment of the patients in that particular hospital, a description of the procedure that needs to be followed as well as identification of the experimental products or instruments.
Secondly, the hospital should provide a clear possible foreseeable risk (Buse and Walt, 2000). Any procedural risks should be explained in the consent document of the patient. Some of the risks may include; psychological, social, economic and physical harm.
Thirdly, the hospital should provide a description of any benefits to the client or to any particular person which may be expected to arise from the treatment. There is need of clarity to the description and not overstated. If there is possibility of no any ideal benefits, that also should be stated.
There should be a disclosure of other alternative ways or procedures of the course of treatment as long as it is advantageous to the client (Dinur and Nissim, 2003). The client should be made aware of range options available that means the consent document should provide sufficient information to ensure there is proper decision making.
The fifth element of the consent is that the hospital should ensure confidentiality of the client’s documents that need to be maintained (Damschroder, at al, 2007). The hospital should provide an explanation if there is any compensation of the risks involved in the medical treatment is available.
One of the most difficult situations faced by the physician is the idea of decision making on behalf of the incompetent patients. The world Health Medical Association stipulates as illustrated in the International Code of Medical Ethics “A physician shall respect a competent patient’s right to accept or refuse treatment”
Common law stipulates that individuals possess self-determination and autonomy which encompass the right to refuse or accept any medical treatment. The patient is left to make his or her own decision but in circumstances of incompetent patient the decision can be left to someone else to make on his or her behalf. The inability of the patient to make reasonable decision is called into question.
The physician is the one to assess the incompetence of the patient but sometimes the courts are also involved (Markson, et al, 2010). Incompetence of the patient to make decision arises in various ways but this article will only deal with mental capacity. When the patient lacks reasonable capacity in terms of memory, The World Health Medical Association under International Code of Medical Ethics provides that the patient is incompetent to make any medical treatment decision. Therefore, the decision is left with the physician to make decision on his behalf.
The question to be answered firstly concerning the privacy, respect and dignity of the patients should, why is it that some hospitals do not consider patients priority when it comes to their privacy. The medical officers should consider the issue of respect, dignity and confidentiality of the patients apriority without discrimination of any sought.


Atlasi, S., Patient Privacy and Confidentiality.
Buse, K. and Walt, G., 2000. Global public-private partnerships: part I-a new development in health?. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 78(4), pp.549-561.
Damschroder, L.J., Pritts, J.L., Neblo, M.A., Kalarickal, R.J., Creswell, J.W. and Hayward, R.A., 2007. Patients, privacy and trust: Patients’ willingness to allow researchers to access their medical records. Social science & medicine, 64(1), pp.223-235.
Dinur, I. and Nissim, K., 2003, June. Revealing information while preserving privacy. In Proceedings of the twenty-second ACM SIGMOD-SIGACT-SIGART symposium on Principles of database systems (pp. 202-210). ACM.
Humayun, A., Fatima, N., Naqqash, S., Hussain, S., Rasheed, A., Imtiaz, H. and Imam, S.Z., 2008. Patients' perception and actual practice of informed consent, privacy and confidentiality in general medical outpatient departments of two tertiary care hospitals of Lahore. BMC medical ethics, 9(1), p.14.
Markson, L.J., Kern, D.C., Annas, G.J. and Glantz, L.H., 2012. Physician assessment of patient competence. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 42(10), pp.1074-1080.