peer responses

students: 1

HIPAA violations truly occur on a day-to-day basis in every healthcare setting. It is up to the healthcare professional to remain vigilant as one never knows who is watching/listening. An example of this would be at our clinical with logging into EPIC. I’ve noticed several times healthcare workers not fully logging out of their computers and have their patient’s entire health records on display for those who pass in the hallways to observe. It is our duty as healthcare workers to ensure patient privacy, and technology is a way for us to do that – if we use it correctly. Eastern Michigan University has a great article explaining how to “Mind your technology. Technology has made information sharing easier than ever, but it also comes with risks. Sharing login credentials or passwords, leaving portable devices unattended, and texting patient information are all easy ways to commit a HIPAA violation. Use caution when discussing or viewing confidential information on devices and use your workplace healthcare messaging platform instead of regular text messaging” (Bvorel, 5 ways to prevent HIPAA violations 2023). These are all great examples of what to remain mindful of when working as an RN. This source also goes into detail about the basics of HIPAA, and many other tips to avoid violating these regulations. Nursing informatics plays a vital role in identifying these risks and implementing safeguards like two-factor authorizations to protect not only the patient but the healthcare workers accessing the information as well. As technology advances, nursing informatics will advance as well.

Bvorel. (2023, March 16). 5 ways to prevent HIPAA violations. EMU Online.


Student : 2

My personal experience with using EHR systems is only using Epic. The Epic system is pretty nice, once you get the hang of it. I think my favorite part of the Epic system is how easy it is to contact other nurses, other departments and providers. I especially like when you are setting up an IV medication and the computer/MAR can send the order data directly to the pump making it rather easy to set up an IV pump with a medication. Potential problems involve nurses speaking about patient information off the unit, or speaking too loudly when on the unit where other patients can hear private patient information. An example I can think of is the nurses station on Med-2 where some of the nurses are very loud when it comes to talking about patients. They even sometimes just say confidential information out loud for the whole floor to hear. A good way to keep these things from happening could be just education and maybe more managerial presence on the unit. Especially in the case of my Med-2 story. In terms of the role that informatics plays when it comes to patient privacy and security, it can be used to implement things like firewalls and other protection against data breeches (Sewell, 2016). It can also be used to create more secure programs to keep patient information as confidential as possible.

Sewell, J. (2016). Lippincott CoursePoint Enhanced for Sewell’s Informatics and Nursing (6th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health.

so just more information

Here is the question

Given the increasing use of technology in healthcare, ensuring HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance while managing patient information is crucial. Reflect on your experiences or insights into the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other digital tools in clinical settings.

Discuss potential HIPAA violations that could occur during clinical practices with these technologies and explore the challenges and strategies in preventing such breaches. Incorporate examples from clinical experiences or hypothetical scenarios of possible violations.

How do nursing informatics professionals play a pivotal role in identifying risks, implementing safeguards, and maintaining a balance between technological advancements and the protection of patient privacy and security?

###### And here my answer ########

Cybersecurity breaches, privacy threats, and unauthorized access are all consequences of HIPAA violations during clinical operations. Cybersecurity breaches such as phishing or hacking and unauthorized access, such as employees looking into records without a medical reason, present a severe risk. Concerns include insufficient security measures, insecure texting, and loss or theft of devices holding patient data during telemedicine consultations. The inappropriate disposal of documents and integration of third-party apps without guaranteeing HIPAA compliance pose additional risks (Kiel, 2022). Strict access controls, encryption, auditing procedures, frequent security assessments, and employee training are examples of preventive tactics. It’s critical to use secure messaging services, observe privacy-conscious telemedicine procedures, and thoroughly check outside vendors using signed contracts. Following proper disposal protocols for electronic and physical records, including data wiping from defunct equipment, is crucial. It is imperative to foster a culture of compliance and attentiveness among personnel to effectively mitigate HIPAA infractions.
Nursing informatics specialists are essential to identify dangers, putting safety measures in place, and striking a balance between patient privacy and security and technological improvements. They act as a link between healthcare and technology, applying their knowledge to evaluate systems for security flaws and guarantee adherence to privacy laws such as HIPAA. They find possible risks to patient data and create plans to counter them by carrying out risk assessments. In addition, these experts put security procedures and training courses into place so that employees know how to protect patient data (Booth et al., 2021). Moreover, they support the creation of rules that give patient confidentiality top priority, as well as the incorporation of privacy-enhancing technologies. Nursing informatics specialists promote adopting creative solutions while protecting patient privacy and security by keeping up with new laws and regulations. All these efforts improve the general standard of care delivery and guarantee better patient outcomes whenever a patient gets services from the healthcare industry.

Booth, R., Strudwick, G., McMurray, J., Chan, R., Cotton, K., & Cooke, S. (2021). The future of Nursing Informatics in a Digitally-Enabled world. In Computers in health care (pp. 395417).
Kiel, J. M. (2022). Data privacy and security in the US: HIPAA, HITECH and beyond. In Computers in health care (pp. 427435).