DNP 805 Topic 1 Discussion 1
Select a specific health care technology-related regulation, law, statute, or ethical standard that applies to informatics. Provide a summary of your example and a statement describing your reasoning either in support of the example you select, or in opposition to it. Take into consideration the ethics of a Christian worldview in relation to the ethical standard, etc. in your summary.
Over time, patient care has grown to be a largely technology-driven practice. Health care professionals record patient data technologically and use similar means to coordinate care. Critical patient information is shared every day as health care providers implement informatics in health care delivery. However, the process is riskier than ever before and exposes patients to more harm and abuse of private health information. Regulations and laws have been integral in protecting and securing private patient data.
One of the widely used regulations is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It contains crucial provisions for health insurance coverage and reducing Medicare fraud, but protecting the privacy and security information applies to informatics (Alexander et al., 2019). The privacy rules focus primarily on the rights of the patient. It emphasizes the need for patient consent when sharing private information (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018). Under HIPAA, standards were established to protect health information transmitted verbally, electronically, visually, or in paper formats (Alexander et al., 2019). The HIPAA also obliges health care professionals to secure confidential information, particularly in electronic health records (EHRs). Keshta and Odeh (2021) noted that EHRs are common sources of privacy breaches since patient data can be accessed by unauthorized individuals who can use it for non-medical reasons. As a result, any identifiable patient information requires technical, administrative, and physical safeguards.
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I support the use of HIPAA in protecting and securing protected health information. As health care professionals guided by the Christian worldview, ensuring that patient care is ethical is not optional. As health care providers collect, store, and share confidential patient data, privacy and security should be key considerations. HIPAA provides measures to secure information shared electronically. It ensures that appropriate standards are followed, and violation is punished accordingly. Through HIPAA, patients are less vulnerable to security breaches typical when using computer and technology systems in health care delivery.
Alexander, S., Frith, K. H., & Hoy, H. (Eds.). (2019). Applied clinical informatics for nurses (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
CDC. (2018). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/hipaa.html
Keshta, I., & Odeh, A. (2021). Security and privacy of electronic health records: Concerns and challenges. Egyptian Informatics Journal, 22(2), 177-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eij.2020.07.003
HIPAA is also involved in the regulation of another form of technology being used in healthcare. Telemedicine and Telehealth is one of the health information technologies available in healthcare today. The health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines telehealth as using telecommunications technology with electronic information, streaming media, terrestrial and wireless communications to support and propagate long distance primary health care of patients, health education of patients and professionals, public health and administration (HealthIT.gov., (n.d.). Telemedicine technology began in the 1960’s as a form of healthcare delivery because of the needs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Nebraska psychology Institute. This information was written and published by researchers from Saint Louis University and Bentley University in theInternational Journalof Environmental Research and Public Health. Also, in 1970’s, the Kaiser Foundation International partnered up with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company and created a remote monitoring system capable of providing healthcare delivery. Then on March 17, 2010, President Obama proposed ‘Connecting America: Which is a ‘National Broadband Plan’ to assist in the proliferation and improvement of broadband networks across the United States. This plan helped to build-out and improve the medical networks that facilitate remote patient monitoring, electronic health records, and other technology-based health services such as telemedicine (Gruessner, 2022).While in the late 2010, the insurance companies, legislators and the medical professionals with organizations such as American Medical Association (AMA) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) began to work out the details that would guide the delivery of care using Telehealth.
Some of the technologies used for telehealth is the internet for live synchronous video conferencing which is a two way link with audiovisual that enables a patient and their clinician to communicate directly, store and forward imaging is another asynchronous videoconferencing that transmits recorded health information to a specialist clinician, another application is Remote patient monitoring (RPM), this is when the electronic device is used to record medical health data in one location and transmitted for review by a clinician in another location especially at a different time sometimes in a different state for consultations or second opinions. Also, there is the Mobile health (mHealth) is used by public health and health care institutions to provide health information for the public and for general education, some targeted texts and to notify about disease outbreaks in communities.
Telemedicine and telehealth regulations and standards are the same as in person clinical treatment standards that are established by the same State specific regulatory institutions which operate based on federal telehealth regulations even though each state makes their own regulations. These institutions are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and rules from the Centers for Medicare and medicaid Services (CMS) governing reimbursement for federal programs. In March 2020, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Office for Civil Rights issued a Notification of Enforment Discrition during the COVID-19 pandemic. This notification allowed for flexibility in adherence to HIPAA during this public health crisis to ensure that millions of patients would maintain access to their care (Hatcher, 2020).
Hatcher, T. (2020, August 28). Understanding Telehealth requirements & regulations.
HealthIT.gov. (n.d.). Telemedicine and Telehealth | HealthIT.gov. ONC | Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. https://www.healthit.gov/topic/health-it-health-care-settings/telemedicine-and-telehealth
Gruessner, V. (2022). The History of Remote Monitoring, Telemedicine Technology. mHealthIntelligence xtelligence healthcare Media. https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/the-history-of-remote-monitoring-telemedicine-technology#:~:text=November%2009%2C%202015%20%2D%20Telemedicine%20technology,Louis%20University%20and%20Bentley%20University
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