Threats to Health Information Technology
In her article, Strauss takes a line from the Hippocratic oath, that the health care practitioner will ensure patient privacy through the statement, “Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private” (2012, p. 19). Even in the earliest days of medicine, patient privacy was a concern. With advances in information technology (IT), and its many applications within the healthcare industry, maintaining patient privacy remains as pertinent as ever.
Health systems privacy
Health systems privacy means that protected health information (PHI) stays protected. Only medical personnel that need access to the information should have access. Measures must be in-place to ensure that prying eyes who do not have a need to know are not able to access and expose a patient’s private health information (Strauss, 2012, p. 19) or sell it to others who could profit from this information.
When planning and implementing a health management information system (HMIS), especially from the ground up, health systems privacy must be one of the most fundamental aspects to consider. Limiting assigned access, restraining the ability for the layperson or end user to access information outside of their scope, and ensuring that should breaches occur, they can be tracked and limited. Involvement at a systems’ beginning allows the opportunity to work with the team in creating built-in privacy measures.
Laws, regulations and ethics. Dimitropoulos and Rizk noted that HMIS and Health Information Exchanges (HIE) in general receive protection from “a patchwork of...
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Dimitropoulos, L., & Rizk, S. (2009, March/April). A state-based approach to privacy and security for interoperable health information exchange. Health Affairs, 28(2), 428-434. http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.28.2.428
Michelman, A. (2009, March/April). An update on what is being done to keep protected health information secure. Journal of Health Care Compliance, 1(1), 57-70. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=0c60a0e5-a721-446c-8c66-c2b61252fda0%40sessionmgr115&vid=4&hid=106
Strauss, L. J. (2012, May/June). Patient privacy -- then and now. Journal of Health Care Compliance, 14(3), 19-61. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=0c60a0e5-a721-446c-8c66-c2b61252fda0%40sessionmgr115&vid=4&hid=106