NURS FPX 4040 Assessment 2 Protected Health Information (PHI) Privacy Security and Confidentiality Best Practices GC

NURS FPX 4040 Assessment 2 Protected Health Information (PHI) Privacy Security and Confidentiality Best Practices GC

Social Media Best Practices

According to Chan & Leung (2018) social media refers to internet-based tools that allow communities and individuals to collect and communicate; collaborate with others in real-time, and share information, images, ideas, and personal messages.

In a healthcare setting, social media offer healthcare professionals tools to promote health behaviors, share information, engage with the public, debate health care policy and practice issues, as well as educate and interact with colleagues, patients, and caregivers. Healthcare professionals can use social media to (Chan & Leung, 2018).

  • Motivate patients
  • Provide health information to the community
  • Improve health outcomes
  • Increase personal awareness of news and discoveries
  • Develop a professional network 
  • Communicate directly with patients to augment medical care

Protected Health Infy Act of 1996 (HIPPA) Protected health information (PHI) relates to future, present, or past mental or physical condition or the health of a person, provision of medical care to a person, or future, present, or past payment for the delivery of medical care to a person that is transmitted and stored electronically or in any other form. 

  • PHI include all personally identifiable medical information like test results, demographic data, insurance information, medical histories, and other patient identifying details

Role of HIPPA in Protecting Health Information

  • HIPPA sets guidelines pertaining to the protection and confidential handling of one’s medical records
  • Such guidelines have become a problem in social media
  • According to this law, healthcare professionals cannot directly address patients through social media as it breaches the privacy and confidentiality outlined by HIPPA
  • Confidentiality controls safeguard against unauthorized use of information held by the institution (George & Bhila, 2019)
  • Confidentiality protects information gather in the context of an intimate relationship (George & Bhila, 2019)
  • For instance, confidentiality prevents doctors from disclosing information shared with them by a patient 
  • Privacy is a person’s right to keep information to himself   
  • It addresses the question of who has access to personal information and under which conditions                                          
  • Privacy controls safeguard the rights of a person to control the information that the organization gathers, shares, and maintains with others
  • Information security is the preservation of data availability, confidentiality, and integrity (George & Bhila, 2019)

Importance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Safeguard Health Information 

  • Experts of patient safety agree that teamwork and communication skills are critical in delivering quality patient care
  • When all healthcare professionals (both clinical and non-clinical) work together effectively, medical care staff can enhance patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, prevent medical errors, and improve efficiency
  • In healthcare setting, gaps in communication can have costly consequences, including legal issues, misdiagnoses, and medication errors
  • Interprofessional collaboration can help bridge these gaps
  • Communication and teamwork keeps members connected (to reach out to physician who has not entered notes into the EHR) and automates alerts (to receive text messages when critical lab results come in) (Vos et al., 2020)

Generally, a patient care team collaboration platform provides the right information to the right people at the right time through secure video, secure, or voice (Vos et al., 2ormation (PHI)

  • According to Health Insurance Portability and Accountabilit020)
  • This ensures that only authorized persons can access the information 
  • Also, through collaboration with administrators, the team can learn laws meant for privacy of patient data and ensure high level of data confidentiality 

Evidence for Social Media Violations

  • The pediatric ICU nurse working at Texas Children’s Hospital was fired for violating HIPPA rules by posting PHI on Facebook about a rare measles case at the facility
  • In 2019, at least 50 employees, including nurses, at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago were fired for viewing and accessing the records of actor Jussie Smollett (Nurse.Org, 2019)
  • In 2016, an Illinois-based healthcare network failed to do a thorough risk assessment paid $5.5 million after the encrypted laptop was stolen from an employee’s car (Providertech, 2020)
  • In 2018, a medical imaging services company in Tennessee paid $3 million in penalties after one server allowed anyone to search and view PHI for more than 300k people online (Providertech, 2020)

Best Practices for Social Media Uses

Medical professionals can avoid HIPPA violations while using social media by: 

  • Not posting stories about patients on social media
  • Checking the background of photos before posting
  • Not offering medical advice on social media
  • Get written permission before sharing anything
  • Be selective while interacting with patients
  • Protect against misinformation 
  • Follow institutional policies on social media usage 
  • Avoid conflict of interests; reveal an idea or product being mentioned for payment 
  • Do not practice medicine online by responding to patients offline
  • Don’t discuss patients, even in general terms

Evidenced-Based Strategies for Safeguarding Patient Information 

  • The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) offer evidence-based tools for fostering a culture of safety
  • Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) seek to optimize performance among medical professionals so they can respond effectively and quickly to emerging situations. it focuses on four key competencies: mutual support, communication, leading teams, and situation monitoring (Bhatt, 2017) 
  • The Care Innovation and Transformation (CIT) program of AONE put emphasis on solving healthcare problems to enhance quality, safety, and patient outcomes. The program creates a culture of shared leadership with all team members being accountable and responsible for changes threatening patient safety and quality of care (Bhatt, 2017)
  • Engaging patient and family members has also been shown to improve patient outcome and reduce adverse events. By involving patients, you can get consent on which information to share via social media (Bhatt, 2017). More specifically, the staff should undertake the following evidence based measures in mitigating the risk of patient’s sensitive electronic health information;
  • Using technical safeguards like encryptions and firewalls to prevent any violations or breaches (Kruse et al., 2017).
  • Ensuring that administrative safeguards are in place. This entails preventing patient’s information transfer off site. Also, when using patient’s information for research, they should ensure that the data is anonymized. Besides, research findings indicate the effectiveness of using generators as a way of preventing down time, and hiring CIFO (Chief Information Security Officer) (Kruse et al., 2017).
  •  Mitigating the increased risk of connected devices, especially with the increasing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT). This could be ensured by maintaining the internet of things’ devices on their separate networks, monitoring their networks for a timely identification of any sudden, suspicious change that could be indicative of data breach. Also, access to such information should be under strict security with strong passwords or multi-factor authentication (Kruse et al., 2017). 
  • Backing up patient’s electronic data.
  • Conducting risk assessments regularly. According to Kruse et al. (2017), having an audit trail is indispensable in identifying any potential threat to data integrity, implementing proactive measures to prevent breaches, and even in identifying the causes of incidents should they occur. 

References

Bhatt, J. (2017). Focusing on teamwork and communication to improve patient safety. American Hospital Association | AHA News. https://www.aha.org/news/blog/2017-03-15-focusing-teamwork-and-communication-improve-patient-safety

Chan, W. S., & Leung, A. Y. (2018). Use of social network sites for communication among health professionals: systematic review. Journal of medical Internet research, 20(3), e8382.

George, J., & Bhila, T. (2019). Security, confidentiality and privacy in the health of healthcare data. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, 3(4), 373-377.

Kruse, C. S., Smith, B., Vanderlinden, H., & Nealand, A. (2017). Security techniques for the electronic health records. Journal of medical systems, 41(8), 1-9.

Nurse. Org. (2019). Jussie Smollett case: 50 hospital workers fired for alleged HIPAA violations.Nurse.org. https://nurse.org/articles/smollett-hospital-workers-fired/

Providertech. (2020, September 23). Disastrous HIPAA violation cases | 7 cases to learn from. https://www.providertech.com/disastrous-hipaa-violation-cases-7-cases-to-learn-from/

Vos, J. F., Boonstra, A., Kooistra, A., Seelen, M., & van Offenbeek, M. (2020). The influence of electronic health record use on collaboration among medical specialties. BMC health services research, 20(1), 1-11.

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