IP2 Healthcare ethics
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, abbreviated as HIPAA, were signed into law in 1996 by the then president of the United States. There had been widespread concerns in the whole country about the safety of patient information especially after electronic systems were introduced in patient care. People that were not directly involved in patient care could get access into information about patient management. All health facilities are required by law to abide by the HIPAA security standards in as far as patient information is concerned (Iossifova & Meyer-Goldstein, 2013).
The objectives of HIPAA rules are aimed at ensuring there is confidentiality in all electronic patient health information (EPHI). The integrity and security of EPHI must be upheld by all health care practitioners. All anticipated treats to the well being of patients’ information need to be identified promptly and action taken. In addition, anticipated loses or disclosure of the information regarding patient management need to be safeguarded. T should be noted that HIPAA privacy and security rules aim to protect patient information both in the electronic form and other forms such as oral and paper.
HIPAA attempts to safeguard protected health information in a variety of ways. The information on patient management can only be transmitted electronically. As such it becomes difficult for any other person to see what is happening. Of course the system is protected by a password that is known by a small number of people that are involved in the care of a patient. By so doing, unauthorized access of patient information is prevented. The patient, doctor, nurse and a few other persons that are directly involved with the care of the patient can access the information (Luxton, Kayl & Mishkind, 2012).
After implementing the HIPAA Act, health facilities spend a lot of time and resources to train their workers so that they may be well conversant with the new development in health care. It entailed a change in policies and the manner in which procedures were done. In fact all health care providers welcomed the entire decision of strengthening patient privacy. However, the number of the new rules that came with HIPAA was not only daunting but also unbearable. Compliance to the rules became a challenging task to professionals that stayed long in the profession. It took a lot of time for officers to make adjustments to how they conducted their activities (Iossifova & Meyer-Goldstein, 2013).
Abiding by the HIPAA rules and regulations may challenge the ethics of health care practitioners in a number of ways. Taking into consideration the key principals of HIPAA, pharmacists find themselves in dilemma when they are in practice. The exact problem arises from the heterogeneous interpretation of the stipulations within the law among different health care givers. It becomes extremely difficult for each section of the HIPAA laws to be adhered to by all health care workers. Pharmacists have an issue with the “minimum necessary” policies and procedures that each organization must have their own.
The privacy notice is another area that health care practitioners do not agree with. HIPAA authorizes health workers, including pharmacists to coerce patients to admit that indeed they obtained their written notice of privacy. Patients are allowed to accept any form of intervention that is directed to them. They should not at any instance be “spoken to well” so that they may accept whatever the health care provider asks of them (Luxton, Kayl & Mishkind, 2012).
Iossifova, A. R., & Meyer-Goldstein, S. (2013). Impact of standards adoption on healthcare transaction performance: the case of HIPAA. International Journal of Production Economics, 141(1), 277-285.
Luxton, D. D., Kayl, R. A., & Mishkind, M. C. (2012). mHealth data security: The need for HIPAA-compliant standardization. Telemedicine and e-Health, 18(4), 284-288.