Health Information Technology

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  • Topic: Health care, Health care provider, Patient
  • Pages : 4 (1146 words )
  • Download(s) : 542
  • Published : September 18, 2012
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Balance Between Communication and Confidentiality

Abstract
This paper explores six articles on health information technology (HIT) and how this new trend of communication; although as it has its positive effects on quality of care, raises the ethical issue of patient confidentiality. This paper explores the fine line between communication and breaches in patient confidentiality, and the importance of a trusting nurse-patient relationship. Balance Between Communication and Confidentiality

The advent of health information technology has opened up unique possibilities for communication in the nursing profession; however, technological changes have been occurring so rapidly that there is reason for concern over whether important ethical questions have been neglected in the process. One of the ethical issues surrounding health information technology (HIT) is patient confidentiality. The fact that communication has become easier than ever before also means that the risk of inappropriate communication of confidential information is also considerably greater than it was in the past. The purpose of this paper is to explore this ethical issue. First of all, it needs to be clearly stated that the communication enabled by HIT has positive effects on quality of care. Berwick (2002) outlines several important values in health care delivery, including safety of the patient, reliability of information, and continuity of care; and HIT can promote all of these values. For example, it has been demonstrated that electronic medical records (EMRs) can dramatically reduce the occurrence of medical error (Bloomsfield & Feinglass, 2008), thus enhancing patient safety. Further, HIT provides the necessary infrastructure for the achievement of nursing minimum data sets and other quality indicator protocols; and the purpose of these informatics developments is to "collect and build on data obtained from earlier studies and further develop nursing's body of...
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