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.
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.
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.
Thank you for your cooperation,
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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