POLICY ON ADOLESCENT CONFIDENTIALITY
Teenagers need to learn to be independent and to be responsible for their own health. However, they still need their parents to be involved in their healthcare. Most teenagers are healthy but they may have concerns they may not want to discuss with family and friends. Many surveys show that one-reason teenagers don’t see the doctor or nurse practitioner is because they worry about their privacy. At League City Pediatrics we would like to take great care of our teenage patients. To do this, the structure of teenage visits is different from that of younger children.
- Each teenage visit will begin with the parent and teenager in the room together. This gives the parent a chance to ask questions and
share important information about their child’s health.
- Starting around age 13, after meeting together, the parent will be asked to leave the room for part of the visit. The time alone with the
doctor or nurse practitioner gives the teenager a chance to ask questions or deal with issues that are considered private.
- For the physical examination, the teenager may choose to have a parent, a nurse, or just the doctor in the room.
- The information discussed by the teenager and doctor or nurse practitioner is considered
confidential and will not be shared with anyone.
- If important medical issues come up, we will encourage the teenager to discuss them together with his or her doctor or nurse
practitioner and parents.
- The only time that we would talk to a parent about a private issue is in the rare case a teenager’s health or life is in danger. We will
always let the teenager know before we do this.
- We routinely perform confidential testing on all of our adolescent patients as recommended by the American Academy of
Pediatrics and Center for Disease Control. You may see this testing on your insurance. By Texas law we cannot discuss these test
results with parents.
- At the end of the visit, the doctor or nurse practitioner will meet with the parent and teenager together. This allows us to update parents
and form plans to keep our teenage patients healthy.