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BSN-FP 4004 Nursing Informatics Best Practices

BSN-FP 4004 Nursing Informatics Best Practices


To garner the promise of the massive technological advancements that has taken over the health care systems for the last three decades and achieve improved health outcomes, healthier people, cost-effective spending, the healthy information must be secured. The security system in place for the organization must gain the trust of both the providers and consumers alike. For example, if patients do not trust that the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and the Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) of a given provider, they are highly likely to withhold their health information with grave consequences (Cavoukian & Jonas, 2012).  They do so because they feel their privacy and the correctness of the health information is not secured. Besides, when data breaches occur, they result in severe consequences to an organization in the form of financial injury, harm to the patients and loss of reputation. Lack of best security practices intensifies the vulnerability of the patient health information which poses the risk of cyber-attacks (Friedman, Parrish, & Ross, 2013).

Best Practices to Promote and Support Data Security

To safeguard against breaches, organizations must look beyond the IT department and evaluate the strategies for employee exit, remote project protocol storage practice for on-and off-site. They must then develop and enforce policies and procedures in addition to the physical safeguards that befit the findings (Fernández-Alemán, Señor, Lozoya, & Toval, 2013).

The first of such policies should address the establishment of a detailed data loss protection action plan which enables decisive actions to be taken once a data breach occurs. This will prevent paralysis of the operations and demonstrate to the customers as well as the regulators that the organization has put in place anticipatory measures to address threats of data security. Secondly, the policy document should provide for education provision to employees about handling and protection of critical data. This is especially significant for portable data contained in laptops and other portable devices (Friedman et al., 2013).

The organization should conduct risk assessment periodically to determine if it has acquired a new level or areas of risk through internal and external audits. For mobile workers, training and technical support are mandatory. Same standards concerning data security should be applicable regardless of the geographical location. This is achieved through the use of security and verification software installation to the devices and ensuring they are up-to-date (Cavoukian & Jonas, 2012).

Other measures that organization can implement include retaining a third-party data breach expert to assess the levels of risk and exposure, use other methods to support encryption, stay up-to-date with security software patches and hold the partners and vendors to similar standards (Cavoukian & Jonas, 2012).

Ethical Standards that Promote Patient confidentiality

The nurse practitioners should always maintain the privacy of information of their patients not only because it is a legal requirement, but also because it is a professional ethical practice obligation. Some basic steps go a long way in upholding these standards. The nurses should be aware of the people in the environment and ensure that private conversations cannot be heard (Lo, 2012).  It is not enough to withhold the name of the patient. The professionals are not supposed to discuss the clients and their care related events on social media websites. Some descriptions of care situations with information about time, characteristics and place may disclose the confidentiality of the patient (Clemens, 2012).

While some devices like cell phones that are enabled with cameras and audio recording abilities can enhance capturing of image and voice, they also make it easy to expose the same to others. Collecting of data before seeking consent and using it for inappropriate purposes is one of the serious unethical ways to breach privacy and confidentiality of clients (Clemens, 2012). Besides, records of patients should be stored safely and securely and care should be taken when transporting the records to ensure they do not get lost or accessed by unauthorized personnel. Care should also be taken while transmitting the information electronically. Above all, the guidelines outlined by the organization about privacy and confidentiality of patient information should be adhered to at all times (Lo, 2012).  

Regulatory Requirements that Support Positive Outcomes for Mentally Ill Patients

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) avails the consumers of health care with privacy rights concerning their health information. This includes vital controls like how the information can be used and shared by care providers and health plans. The law recognizes special circumstances where it may be necessary to share the information of the patient to guarantee they get the best treatment and care and other reasons like the safety of self and other patients (Lo, 2012). Such cases include the use and sharing of mental health information. To achieve this, the rule provides for when the care provider can communicate with the family members, friends and others involved with the care of patients. Scenarios like when a patient is an adult, a minor, when the patient is able to object or agree to disclose of information, how to deal with the failure of a patient to adhere to medication are considered in this rule. Considerations are provided for when to involve the law enforcement officers or family members when the patient causes a threat to self and others. All these provisions are intended to give positive outcomes for the mentally ill patients (Clemens, 2012).

Skills for Nurse Leaders to Guide use of IT

Modern health care makes use and management of huge amounts of information which requires collection, review, processing and mining. The nurse leaders are important figures in the use of information technology to improve patient outcomes (Hunt, Sproat, & Kitzmiller, 2013).  Specifically, the leaders must be able to motivate the subordinates to embrace the use of information systems in processing, retrieving and securely storing individual data of the patients. Besides motivating, they need to communicate precisely on a daily basis on how the tasks should be completed to ensure the IS staff have a thorough understanding of the workflow. The managers also need to be involved together with the IS department during the design, development, and execution of the various clinical and administration applications (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2014).


Information systems are a critical aspect of nursing and health care provision in the current system. However, with improved technologies comes the higher risk of breach of patient data and confidentiality. Organizations must take the necessary steps to ensure they prepare for potential data infringement as this does not only protect their reputation but also saves them millions of dollars in lawsuits (Friedman et al., 2013). The HIPAA is one of the laws that provide regulations to ensure that the patients’ information is protected and shared under strict conditions. The professionals, on the other hand, must uphold ethical principles to promote the confidentiality of patients’ information (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2014). The nurse leaders must develop essential skills to enable them to guide the subordinates in the successful design, development, and implementation of IT systems to ensure positive patient care outcomes.

BSN-FP 4004 Nursing Informatics Best Practices

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