Protected Health Information (PHI): Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality Best Practices
Protected Health Information (PHI) is a term utilized for health data which is created, transferred, received and stored by health organizations andprotected by the HIPAA laws. Under the HIPAA guidelines, PHI promotes the protection, confidentiality, integrity of healthcare information and safeguards individual patient information (Cohen and Mello, 2018).The HIPAA information is essential for both the patients and healthcare organizations. HIPAA offers employees continuous health promotion and lowers the healthcare costs. This paper will focus on an inter-professional staff update on HIPAA guidelines and the appropriate use of social media in healthcare. Confidentiality, privacy, and security of health information are essential for enhanced autonomy and quality of care.
Today, health information systems (HIS) manage and store health care data. Electronic health records utilize these technologies to store individual health data. However, these tools are impacted by issues that are related to privacy and security. Nurses and the interdisciplinary team have contributed to health information technology through the utilization of electronic health information. For instance, nurses have a suitable role in health informatics due to their healthcare education and experience in healthcare information systems. The nurses and interdisciplinary healthcare team have to understand what is expected of them regarding confidentiality and protection of health information. The HIPPA rules offer national standards for the protection of individual health information. HIPAA privacy rule sets limits and conditions on the disclosures and use of health information without the patient’s authorization (Murray, Calhoun, and Philipsen, 2011).HIPPA has laid out three security safeguards required for compliance: physical, administrative, and technical. Implementing inter-professional collaboration in the protection of electronic health records, multidiscipline can work more efficiently as a team to improve the health outcomes of the patients. This will improve the handling of patient’s information to protect their privacy. The inter-professional collaboration will also improve the patient experiences and reduce the healthcare costs associated with loss of patient data.
Ensuring the security and privacy of health information is a major component to building the trust needed to realize the potential gains of electronic health information exchange. Implementation of electronic health records will be effective in managing protected health information. EHR will allow sharing of patient information only with those directly linked to the provision of patient care and those granted permission to receive the health information (Samadbeik, Gorzin, Khoshkam, and Roudbari, 2015). Considerably, through coding information that can only be decoded by authorized users who possess the access code will, EHR will effectively manage the protected health information.
Maintaining the privacy of PHI is among essential concerns linked to social media usage in healthcare. Considerably, it is unreasonable to restrict health professionals from using social media platforms in a technology-driven world. However, healthcare providers need to understand the need for confidentiality and protection of patient data on social media. HIPAA has set guidelines that entail confidentiality and protection of individual’s health records that have limited the use of social media (Surani et al., 2017). Health professionals are not allowed to directly address patients on social media since it violates the confidentiality and privacy regulations outlined by HIPAA. Healthcare professionals need to focus on policies and guidelines that state what employees can post on social media sites.
In summation, understanding HIPAA privacy rules by inter-professional teams enables the protection of patient information and medical records. The rules enable the health professionals to limit the disclosures and various uses of health information without the patient’s consent. HIPAA law and regulations also increase privacy, security, and confidentiality of patient data, especially in the use of patient health information on social media. Health care teams can embrace HIPAA guidelines to establish standards for storage, usage, and privacy of patient health information.
Cohen, I. G., & Mello, M. M. (2018). HIPAA and protecting health information in the 21st century. Jama, 320(3), 231-232.
Murray, T. L., Calhoun, M., & Philipsen, N. C. (2011). Privacy, confidentiality, HIPAA, and HITECH: implications for the health care practitioner. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 7(9), 747-752.
Samadbeik, M., Gorzin, Z., Khoshkam, M., &Roudbari, M. (2015). Managing the security of nursing data in the electronic health record. Acta Informatica Medica, 23(1), 39.
Surani, Z., Hirani, R., Elias, A., Quisenberry, L., Varon, J., Surani, S., & Surani, S. (2017). Social media usage among health care providers. BMC research notes, 10(1), 1-5.
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