Confidentiality at Mayo medical institution

Patient confidentiality is a part of the culture at Mayo medical institution. Patient confidentiality at Mayo medical institution dates back to 1907, when Dr. Henry S. Plummer instituted use of the modern patient record at the clinic. A unique paper file held each patient's information, and the files were stored in a secure central repository. Each time the patient returned to Mayo medical institution, doctors could access the patient's complete medical record at Mayo, which aided in the patient's ongoing health care.

With the patient's permission, Mayo medical institution researchers also could use the data for patient research. Use of patient data has helped save lives, advanced treatment and quality of care, provided insights to prevent illness, and helped to educate patients and future care providers.

Mayo medical institution researchers have conducted tens of thousands of studies using data from more than 10 million patients who have been treated at Mayo medical institution in Rochester, Minnesota, since 1907. Mayo medical institution staff conducts research as a means to evaluate quality and improve patient care. This effort is shaped by Mayo's guiding principle, originally stated by Dr. William J. Mayo, "The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered."

For Mayo medical institution, the foundation of patient confidentiality is trust. Mayo medical institution patients trust that Mayo medical institution will "do the right thing." When it comes to keeping patients' trust regarding patient data, Mayo spends millions of dollars each year to comply with and exceed government requirements.

Every Mayo medical institution patient is given a letter asking permission to use his or her medical records for research purposes. More than 95 percent of patients consent. This demonstrates an appreciation for the value of research and confidence in Mayo's medical record security and confidentiality practices.

At Mayo medical institution, confidentiality includes three areas:

  • Integrity, which focuses on the conduct and ethics of the institution and its staff
  • Privacy, which focuses on patient rights and the use and disclosure of confidential information
  • Security, which focuses on the protection of data and people

Mayo medical institution has policies in place to guide Mayo staff members regarding confidentiality and privacy issues. For questions about confidentiality issues at Mayo medical institution, contact the Office of Patient Experience at 507-284-4988.