Nursing Informatics Best Practices Essay
The best practices to promote and support data security
In order to promote data security in an organization, there should be a formal data loss protection and security plan in place. A robust, properly planned, and implemented security program can help the organization in educating, monitoring and providing a continuous update of data and securing patient’s information from being accessed by unauthorized party (Jones, Rudin, Perry, & Shekelle, 2014). The best practices of maintaining, promoting and supporting data security may be implemented by applying various tools including security awareness program and training, security responsiveness content, prioritized checklists, and data loss protection action plan.
The security awareness program would involve providing healthcare providers with technical and training support to encourage them to adhere with the set security-related procedures, standards, and policies. The process would also encourage desirable behavior and practices in handling electronic health records (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). Some critical activities that the information systems team should secure include data creation, use, valuation, storage, archival and deletion. Company-wide security awareness will be fundamental in mitigating data breach risks and ensuring that relevant security measures, metrics, and standards are in place to foster efficient and effective use and accessibility of digital information.
Secondly, applying security responsiveness content would involve data governance and regular risk assessment through external and internal security audits. The patients’ diagnosis and medical history may be encrypted while in transit to counter information tapping by a third party. This would also incorporate perimeter identification, setting and controlling boundaries of authorized access.
Security considerations would also focus on protecting the exploitation of electronic information by applying practices such as system backup, user authentication, access control, physical security of hardware, and embracing system maintenance and audit trails. The practices will be fundamental in improving patients’ safety by reducing diagnosis and medication errors. Secure availability and accessibility of electronic health records by doctors’ increases efficiency in service delivery by eliminating redundant paperwork. It also improves public health monitoring and reporting by eliminate unnecessary testing.
One of the challenges to implementing the identified measures of information security in an organization is resistance to change from employees. The system may be posed to attacks by the employees for not complying to the set system security measures, policies, and procedure. These risks may be in form of disclosure of information that can be used to socially engineer an attack, failure to report unusual activity observed, gaining access to unauthorized and sensitive information that are not related to the employee’s role among others (Furukawa et al., 2014). It is important for organization to have a security awareness program to ensure staff members understand and are conscious of the need to protect subtle information, how they handle data safely and the risks involved when information is mishandled. Therefore, the security of data in an organization depends on a periodic assessment of the possible threats and promoting security within the healthcare continuum.
Ethical Standards Needed to Promote Patient Confidentiality
Confidentiality is one of the primary duties of a medical practitioner. Healthcare providers must keep the health information of a patient private and confidential unless allowed by the patient to share the information (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). These ethical considerations on privacy are important because lack of protection to patient information diminishes the relationship between the physician and the patient. Creating an environment of trust can be enhanced by respecting patient’s privacy and it can encourage the patient to be more open with the physician and seek more care during the course of their visit to healthcare institution.
The duty of confidentiality and accountability obliges the healthcare professional from disclosing information regarding to patient’s health history, diagnosis, and medication to a third party without their consent or law. The healthcare providers and healthcare system should take ultimate precaution in ensuring that access of information only occurs to authorized persons. In a healthcare setting, information about a patient should only be disclosed among members of the healthcare team involved in the treatment (Furukawa et al., 2014). Electronic health records may be posed to a risk of information disclosure due to violation of the principle of secrecy by some staffs. Healthcare members should sign a non-disclosure form before accessing confidential data regarding the patient they attend to and must be accountable to protect that same information against breach by unauthorized users. The institutions must work as per the Health Information Portability Act that recommends healthcare institutions to have policies and systems that ensures patient’s privacy is protected on the electronic platform.
Regulatory Requirements That Promote and Support Positive Patient Outcomes
There are various legal requirements that have been established to promote patient-centered outcome for different populations. Different organizations and government institutions involved in management of public health have different requirement for healthcare provision. The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) describes the necessary instruments that are required for patient-reported outcome that provide guidance on the efficiency of medical product development process (Raghupathi & Raghupathi, 2014). However, most of FDA guidelines do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities for the healthcare providers but instead provide a description of measures that are absolutely necessary for medical interventions for different patient groups.
The issues of a mandatory nurse-patient ratio have remained a controversial subject among different stakeholders such as physicians, nurses, patients, researchers, employers and government. This regulation supporting the nurse ratio was established on the assumption that staffing of regulated nurse ratio can help increase positive patient outcome, reduce staff shortage in healthcare institutions, increase the rate of nurse recruitment, and improve job satisfaction. According to Furukawa et al. (2014), better staffing for Registered Nurses can result to quality of patient care (Furukawa et al., 2014).
Other regulatory requirements that promote positive patient outcome include:
- HIPAA privacy rules- this is responsible for protecting health information of patients by guaranteeing them their right to privacy.
- HITECH Act – this law supports the development and implementation of a countrywide health infrastructure based on information technology.
- Human Subject Research Protection- this law prevents healthcare practitioner in conducting research with humans without their consent and authorization by the necessary organs.
- Complains and Appeals process is also an important provision that enables patients to know how they can file a complaint or appeal a given medical decision relating to their Medicare, civil rights, and information privacy.
Behaviors and Skills Nurse Leaders Requires in Order to Guide the Use of IT
Modernization of healthcare is the driving force behind the evolution of computerized treatment and healthcare management. As a result, nurse informaticists and nurse leaders focus in creating advanced models and acquiring new knowledge and skills in employing healthcare technology (Jones et al., 2014). Healthcare practitioners are required to have the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors that can help them to apply information technology in clinical setting. The fundamentals skills relate to data storage, processing, interpretation, analysis, and retrieval.
Nurses must have necessary expertise and skills in using the improved medical tools used to monitor and stabilize patients, including intracranial pressure monitors, cardiac monitors, intravenous lines, intravenous pumps, endotracheal tubes, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximetry monitors, Foley catheters, gastrostomy tubes, defibrillators, central lines, and heart pumps (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). In addition to learning the processes of using and maintaining these equipment, nurse leaders must know how to interpret their effectiveness and understand when they are working appropriately.
The healthcare sector recognizes the need of communication between healthcare practitioners and IT personnel in order to effectively address the issues of patient care. Individuals are required to have nurse informatics knowledge as a fundamental part of healthcare delivery process and deciding factor in selection, evaluation and implementation of healthcare policies that support high quality, safe and patient-centered care (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). This specialty also helps in integrating nursing and computer science in order to manage information and data for the purpose of advancing knowledge in nursing practice. A nurse leader with knowledge in information technology and leadership qualities can be helpful in managing the healthcare facility, providing nursing education to others and conducting research as a way of improving patient’s outcome.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2016). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Furukawa, M. F., King, J., Patel, V., Hsiao, C. J., Adler-Milstein, J., & Jha, A. K. (2014). Despite substantial progress in EHR adoption, health information exchange and patient engagement remain low in office settings. Health Affairs, 10-1377.
Jones, S. S., Rudin, R. S., Perry, T., & Shekelle, P. G. (2014). Health information technology: an updated systematic review with a focus on meaningful use. Annals of internal medicine, 160(1), 48-54.
Raghupathi, W., & Raghupathi, V. (2014). Big data analytics in healthcare: promise and potential. Health Information Science and Systems, 2(1), 3.
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