Essay Example on Healthcare Information Privacy in Suburban Hospital

Date:  2021-04-01 08:53:04
5 pages  (1239 words)
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University/College: 
Boston College
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Course work
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

SUBJECT: Suburban Hospital Healthcare Law

Suburban Hospital is situated in Bethesda, Maryland and has a membership at the Johns Hopkins Medicine. The hospital is dedicated to improving and maintaining the well-being and health of those residing in Montgomery County and those living in the surrounding areas. Our health center has several other partnership contracts with healthcare providers both at national and local levels such as the National Institutes of Health. Our health care services include patient admissions and surgical procedures and are fully accredited by TJC (The Joint Commission). Suburban Hospital has over the past few years implemented various changes in its health care law, policy, and regulatory requirement. This memo illustrates the internal policy changes that Suburban Hospital has adopted in the past targeting a particular group of employees with the aim of improving service delivery (Parks, 2016). This memo focuses on the law and standards that our hospital has set to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of patients, particularly by nurses.

This memo targets doctors and nurses who in any medical facilities handle patient's personal information that is vital for the maintenance of their health. A report by US Department of Health and Human Services (2013) illustrates that nurses and doctors are required by hospitals to care for the patients while at the same time respect their privacy by not revealing any confidential data to anyone not stated by the laws of the hospital. Suburban Hospital recently changed the privacy regulation concerning the nurses, and the patients and the new rules have been described using the phrase, "Renewing Our Commitment." Most hospital workers have experienced difficulties understanding the scope of the difference between confidentially and privacy which has promoted the health institution to revise its privacy policy (Parks, 2016).

Regulatory Requirements

The confidentiality guidelines for our hospital do not allow nurses and doctors to discuss patient's information in areas where other people can overhear such as on elevators or in the hallways. Suburban Hospitals regulatory requirements do not permit the discussion of clinical data in public places even if the doctors are not using the patients' name. The policy argues that such proposals may raise doubts among visitors and nurses who make them feel disrespected. Whenever a patient or a visitor overhears a conversation between two nurses, for example, in the hallway discussing a patient even without mentioning their name creates the perception that the hospital does not care about the privacy of the patients. The Hospital has implemented strict rules and made several changes that ensure the rights of patients are respected, and the information concerning the patient is not discussed in public places with other parties who are not part of the treatment team.

Policy Change

Privacy changes were adopted to ensure that the nurses are aware and take additional measures and efforts when it comes to protecting the privacy of the patients. The policy change has influenced the nursing procedures by making sure that the nurses take their time in ensuring that when reading, faxing, or transmitting patients information to other departments it does not leak or other individuals do not overhear the conversations (Weaver, 2016). Our hospital's new policy requires that when communicating the nurses should be aware of the following facts; while sending electronic messages concerning patient's information, the nurse should be careful not to send it to the wrong person. The second point makes the nurses aware of the fact that use of electronic communication is not reliable since it can be accessed from other locations by interested parties. Additionally, use of the internet to store or pass confidential information is not entirely secure unless there are encryption technologies in place (Parks, 2016). The privacy policy of our hospital prohibits faxing of individual information outside the institution such as genetic test results and sex assault information without the appropriate authorization. The reason is that such information is only intended for a particular recipient and the data contained should not be accessed or shared with others.

Privacy policy introduced in our health care center requires lengthy procedures thus slowing down the speed of the nurses to attending other roles. A nurse will take a lot of time ensuring that a patient's information is sent following the right channels which should be spent taking care of other patients in need of medical attention. The efficiency of nurses when it comes to providing healthcare to patients is undermined while trying to improve the effectiveness of privacy and confidentiality. On the other hand, the patient's care is also affected on the negative side. A nurse may fail to give a patient medication during the right time while attending privacy issues which may complicate the health of that patient. With the hospital's privacy being very strict on matters of the confidentiality and nurses who breach the privacy contracts facing severe consequences they first attend to privacy matters before offering medical care to admitted patients. The care offered to patients by nurses maybe be influenced, and they end up getting less attention which may compromise their health (Weaver, 2016).

The implementation of the privacy is policy is not hard since the Suburban Hospital already had a similar law in place only that it was not as strict as the newly adopted. The implementation process involves the introduction of an electronic system for recording and storing medical records of patients, and the system includes an encrypted system that ensures the security of personal data for all patients. The electronic system is also designed to transfer information at ease which ensures time taken by nurses in dealing with the information is reduced. The implementation process also integrates the clinical system with the admission and readmission of patients to make sure doctors and nurses do not take long to acquire information about the patient before attending to their medical needs. We do not want medical officers from our hospital to waste critical time looking for the medical history of the patient which is important in determining the best approach to attending to their health problems (Friesen, 2006). An effectively implemented electronic system will ensure the security of patient's personal information and also the quick transfer of data from one department to another.

In summary, we are dedicated to improving the health of the residents of Montgomery County and those living in the surrounding areas. The hospital has undertaken various partnership measures with the aim of improving its services to patients. Over the past few years, the our medical facility have implemented a new privacy policy that targets at protecting the personal information for the patients and ensuring it does not leak to the public. The adoption of strict measures for has come at a cost where the delivery of services to patients by nurses and doctors have been affected. The introduction of the sophisticated electronic medical system is aimed at easing the work of nurses and ensuring the safety of information.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Best,

References

Friesen, R. K. (2006), Confidentiality, privacy, and public safety: Managing information disclosure disputes between hospitals and law enforcement agencies. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 24: 131147. doi:10.1002/crq.163

Parks, R., Xu, H., Chu, C. H., & Lowry, P. B. (2016). Examining the intended and unintended consequences of organisational privacy safeguards. European Journal of Information Systems, 1-29.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). Health information privacy. URL: http://www. hhs. gov/hipaa [accessed 2016-10-21][WebCite Cache].

Weaver, C. A., Ball, M. J., Kim, G. R., & Kiel, J. M. (2016). Healthcare information management systems. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

 

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