NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion
NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion
Discussion Question 1
Role Of Telehealth and The Associated Ethical Issues
The emerging technologies ranging from consumer, mobile and telehealth have played a critical role in bridging the geographical distance between health officers and patients in rural and inaccessible areas (Vesselkov, Hämmäinen & Töyli, 2018). The primary goal of telemedicine of expanding access to health care to millions of additional Americans is now possible with the advanced consumer, mobile, and telehealth technologies (Vesselkov et al., 2018 NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion). It is now possible to provide medical expertise and health services to remote communities in primary care and emergencies. Sportspeople can now use telehealth to monitor their health and performance.
As Vesselkov et al. (2018) further observes, patients in remote areas can now easily consult medical experts about their health concerns through teleconsultation. In the event of an emergency, direct patient care has been made possible through the exchange of information between people on the ground and medical experts via mobile, allowing for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries (Vesselkov et al., 2018 NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion).
The development of Electronic Health Records (EHR) is one of the emerging telemedicine technologies that allow the creation of a centralized database containing information about a patient that is managed and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across multiple health care organizations (Balestra, 2017). This has played a critical role in ensuring continuity of care even if the patient migrates to a different geographical location.
The use of data exchange and vocabulary standards in EHRs has enabled data exchange among authorized clinicians to be interoperable. According to Balestra (2017) data storage and retrieval technology in EHRs have facilitated easy and fast retrieval of health information. Through electronic document (ED) and content management (CM) workflow can be managed and many forms of documents accessed simultaneously (Balestra, 2017 NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion).
Ethical Issue Related to EHRs and Its Impacts on Registered Nursing Practice
Privacy and Confidentiality
Patient information shared with clinical experts is considered confidential and should be kept private (Balestra, 2017). Therefore, only the law or the patient can authorize the release of this information to others. If the individual is incapacitated or not in the right frame of mind to decide to share his or her health information, the decision should be made through the patient’s legal representative or legal guardian (Balestra, 2017). This can have a significant impact on a registered nurse’s practice, especially if he or she is involved in the breach. It undermines the nurse and patient’s pre-existing trust. As a result, the patient may withhold information that is critical to their care, making it difficult for the nurse to perform their duties in caring for the patient.
Measure to Protect Patient’s Privacy and Confidentiality
The privacy and security of a patient’s information can be ensured by properly storing it and restricting unauthorized access. Installing antivirus, anti-spyware, a firewall, and installing metallic doors to the facility can assist to secure the information (Abouelmehdi et al., 2017 NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion). Furthermore, data backups can be created to ensure easy data retrieval in the event that the original data is lost. Installing fingerprint scanners and only configuring staff to the system reduces the likelihood of unauthorized data access.
Discussion Question 2
Ethical and Legal Issues Related to EHR
According to Layman (2020), patients and health officers perceive EHRs as a useful tool for ensuring continuity of care, particularly in emergency situations. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, data from affected individuals can be collected quickly and transferred to a centralized database. Once the affected individuals are transferred to different health facilities, their initial data can be used to ensure the continuity of their care. This ensures that affected patients have better access to care, higher quality medical care, and lower health-care costs. This can have a significant impact on the work of an advanced registered practice nurse by allowing for the easy access of patient information and the peaceful transition of a patient from another facility to the one where they operate.
Breach, Theft, and Unauthorized Access to Protected Health Information
Theft of medical records and security breaches allow unauthorized access to the patient’s health information (Layman, 2020). As a result, the level of trust established between a patient and a registered practicing nurse is undermined. This has a significant impact on the free exchange of information between the patient and the nurse, making it even more difficult for the nurse to establish a correct nursing diagnosis. It also reduces the patient’s trust in the nurse’s diagnosis, treatment, and drug prescription, which can lengthen the patient’s recovery period and make the nurse’s job more difficult (Layman, 2020 NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion).
Measures to Protect Patient’s Privacy and Confidentiality
To protect patients’ privacy and confidentiality, health care facilities should educate their staff and technicians about the importance of medical record confidentiality and have them sign a confidentiality declaration (Abouelmehdi et al., 2017). One of the most common causes of health information security breaches is when employees unknowingly share confidential information with unauthorized individuals. By making sure that the staff is well-versed in how to protect patient’s privacy and confidentiality, ignorant sharing of patient health information is avoided. Signing a confidentiality declaration holds health care staff accountable for any security breaches caused by their activities, making them cautious of breaching their patients’ privacy and confidentiality.
NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion References
Abouelmehdi, K., Beni-Hssane, A., Khaloufi, H., & Saadi, M. (2017). Big data security and privacy in healthcare: A Review. Procedia Computer Science, 113, 73–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.08.292
Balestra, M. L. (2017). Electronic health records: Patient care and ethical and legal implications for nurse practitioners. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners: JNP, 13(2), 105–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2016.09.010
Layman, E. J. (2020). Ethical issues and the electronic health record. The Health Care Manager, 39(4), 150–161. https://doi.org/10.1097/HCM.0000000000000302
Vesselkov, A., Hämmäinen, H., & Töyli, J. (2018). Technology and value network evolution in telehealth. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 134, 207–222. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.06.011
NRS 514 Topic 7 Questions
Discuss how emerging technologies (consumer, mobile and telehealth technologies) impact patient care and the storage of health information. What is one ethical or legal issue related to EHRs that can impact a registered nursing practice? According to HIPAA, protected health information (PHI), and the requirements for privacy and confidentiality, what is one measure you can implement in your practice to protect patient privacy and confidentiality?
NRS 514 Topic 7 Nursing Informatics and Practice Discussion DQ 2
Review HIPAA, protected health information (PHI), and requirements for privacy and confidentiality in EHRs. Discuss one ethical and one legal issue related to the use of EHRs that directly impact advanced registered nursing practice. Consider the emerging role of the telehealth and the EHR in patient care delivery and compromise of patient data using telehealth applications and measures you can implement in your own practice to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.