Ethical Healthcare Issues

Topics: Health care, Electronic medical record, Health informatics Pages: 4 (1180 words) Published: January 4, 2012

Ethical Healthcare Issues Paper

Wanda Douglas

Health Law and Ethics/HCS 545

October 17, 2011
Nancy Moody

Ethical Healthcare Issues Paper

In today’s health care industry providing quality patient care and avoiding harm are the foundations of ethical practices. However, many health care professionals are not meeting the guidelines or expectations of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) or obeying the organizations code of ethics policies, especially with the use of electronic medical records (EMR). Many patients fear that their personal health information (PHI) will be disclosed by hackers or unauthorized users. According to Carel (2010) “ethical concerns shroud the proposal in skepticism, most notably privacy.  At the most fundamental level, issues arise about the sheer number of people who will have ready access to the health information of a vast patient population, as well as about unauthorized access via hacking.” This paper will apply the four principles of ethics to EMR system. EMR History

Pickerton (2005), “In the 1960s, a physician named Lawrence L. Weed first described the concept of computerized or medical records. Weed described a system to automate and recognize patient medical records to enhance their utilization and thereby lead to improved patient care” (para 1). The advantages of EMR system includes shared information integrated information, improvement of quality care, and adaptation of regulatory changes. Even though EMR systems have many advantages, EMR systems also have some disadvantages too. Some disadvantages of EMR systems are security, and confidential, which can raise ethical issues. In order to help identify and overcome ethical issues with EMR systems, health care professionals can use the four principles of ethics to help identify where ethical issues are compromised. The four principles of ethics are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice.

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