What should I tell my patients who have reportable diseases?

For communicable disease control efforts to be maximally effective, health care providers should take time to advise their patients about the legal requirement of disease reporting, what the patient can expect to happen, and how the community may benefit. Patients who are surprised when they receive a phone call from the local health department about their illness may be less than fully cooperative with the health department and are often unhappy that their health care provider didn’t advise them that they might receive a call from someone at the health department. Instead of viewing this as a referral for health care follow-up, patients may view it as a breach of confidentiality because they weren’t provided the opportunity to understand what is happening and why.

Show All Answers

1. Whom do I notify?
2. What should I tell my patients who have reportable diseases?
3. What is a reportable communicable disease?
4. How and why were these diseases selected?
5. Why is it important for health care providers to report diseases in a timely manner?
6. What information must be in the report?
7. Does HIPAA allow disease reporting?
8. What do health departments do with this information?
9. Why do I have to report when the laboratory has already reported the case?
10. What is expected from a health care provider during a disease investigation?