NURS 8210 Nursing and Health Care Informatics Ethics and the Law

NURS 8210 Nursing and Health Care Informatics Ethics and the Law

NURS 8210 Nursing and Health Care Informatics Ethics and the Law

Health information technology is continually changing and evolving. A common trend within healthcare is the movement towards implementing an electronic health record (EHR) (Koontz, 2015). An EHR is a platform which will encompass patient records electronically, however, this creates conflict among various ethical principles (Layman, 2008). With the implementation of an EHR, resides the requirements to ensure that privacy of patient records and information is maintained. To provide further context, in a discussion with a practitioner, it is assumed the highest degree of confidentiality is maintained. However, once this information is placed into an EHR, it is questionable whether boundaries are dissolved as information and charts are accessible by other practitioners (Croll, 2010).

The American Medical Informatics Association provides a code of ethics for practitioners to ensure ethical conduct (Peterson et al., 2018). The code references the use of health information technology and includes the expectations of members. Potential liabilities can be identified in multiple principles. Members are accountable to report issues regarding patient information and systems that could lead to a breech in privacy. This requires the nurse to be responsible for one’s own actions and to be knowledgeable regarding information technology (IT) and reporting processes. Furthermore, a nurse is responsible to ensure they are protecting patient health information. This refers to accessing, storage, and oral communication of patient data. Finally, nurses are responsible to understand given technology and should note limitations and access resources as needed.

To improve the above-mentioned potential liabilities, the education of staff should be considered. Staff should be aware of reporting procedures and be knowledgeable regarding how to access IT if needed. Education should also be provided regarding organizational policies and procedures that refer to privacy standards (Croll, 2010). Staff should understand their requirements when accessing patient charts that include confidential healthcare information. Information technology departments should complete random audits that provides data regarding personnel who are accessing charts. Staff should be aware that they are only to access information for those patients who are within their circle of care (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2019). Finally, it is beneficial to have trained super-users who have a good grasp of the EHR system so that they can support those who do not.

References

College of Nurses of Ontario. (2019). Practice Standard: Confidentiality and Privacy – Personal

Health Information. Retrieved from

https://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/41069_privacy.pdf

Croll, P. (2010). Privacy, security and access with sensitive health information. Studies in Health

Technology and Informatics, 151, 167-175.

Layman, E. (2008). Ethical Issues and the Electronic Health Record. Health Care Manager27,

165-176. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.HCM.0000285044.19666.a8

Koontz, L. (2015). Health information privacy in a changing landscape. Journal of American

Society on Aging, 39 (1), 97-104.

Peterson, C., Berner, E., Embi, P., Hollis, K, Goodman, K., Koppel, R., Lehmann, C., Lehmann,

H., Maulden, S., McGregor, K., Solomonides, A., Subbian, V., Terrazas, E., &

Winkelstein, P.  AMIA’s code of professional and ethical conduct 2018, Journal of the

American Medical Informatics Association, 25 (11), 1579–

1582, https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocy092

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This is quite insightful. Health information technology has created significant impacts in the healthcare systems.

NURS 8210 Nursing and Health Care Informatics Ethics and the Law
NURS 8210 Nursing and Health Care Informatics Ethics and the Law

Today, most healthcare organizations rely on technology to facilitate the delivery of quality healthcare services to patients. Health information technology is continually changing and evolving (Hussien et al., 2019). A common trend within healthcare is the movement towards implementing an electronic health record (EHR). In general technology has facilitated communication processes, management of patient’s data, and sharing of medical information among healthcare providers (Layman, 2018). Through the application of technology in the healthcare processes, healthcare professionals have been able to maintain high levels of ethical standards. At the same time, these technologies have created vulnerabilities in the management of healthcare delivery services. For instance, different technological products has led to increased vulnerability of data (Morilla et al., 2017). With the increased levels of hacking, cyber attackers can easily gain access to healthcare data, particularly where the systems are not property secured. Therefore, with the increase in the use of technology, healthcare providers need to ensure proper security measures to enhance protection of patient’s information.

 

References

Layman, E. (2018). Ethical Issues and the Electronic Health Record. Health Care Manager27,

165-176. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.HCM.0000285044.19666.a8

Hussien, H. M., Yasin, S. M., Udzir, S. N. I., Zaidan, A. A., & Zaidan, B. B. (2019). A systematic review for enabling of develop a blockchain technology in healthcare application: taxonomy, substantially analysis, motivations, challenges, recommendations and future direction. Journal of medical systems43(10), 1-35. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10916-019-1445-8

Morilla, M. D. R., Sans, M., Casasa, A., & Giménez, N. (2017). Implementing technology in healthcare: insights from physicians. BMC medical informatics and decision making17(1), 1-9. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12911-017-0489-2