Protected Health Information (PHI) Best Practices

Capella University

NURS FPX 4040

Professor June Bryant

July 2023

Summary of Confidentially Laws

There are numerous healthcare laws that are targeted to secure patient information and sensitive data in healthcare settings i.e., HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). 

This legislature ensures the protection of patient’s sensitive information and personal health information (PHI). It also enhances the continuum of care provision quality standard (Hayes & Vance, 2020). 

There are many activities, operations, and functions initiated at the governmental level to promulgate security and confidentiality. 

These governmental operations use HIPAA rules and electronic health records (EHR) (Arogundade, 2023). 

Recently, a confidentiality breach case happened at Vila Hospital in which a patient’s pictures were shared on Instagram. 

Protected Health Information (PHI) refers to any healthcare information and data associated with the patient and healthcare provision. 

It may include disease identification, treatment, tools, and any other related information (Moore & Frye, 2019).

The Importance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Safeguard Data

Interprofessional collaboration plays an important role in healthcare organizations to protect patient’s confidential information and data. 

There should be strong coordination and communication between nurse practitioners to guarantee the protection of safety rules and regulations. 

IT workers are extremely important in this regard. All electronic tools used in a healthcare organization should be protected by advanced software designed by the IT team (Fleming et al., 2019). 

It infers that interprofessional collaboration can play a vital role in data protection and overcoming security challenges in healthcare organizations. It will help all the stakeholders to participate in protecting patient’s sensitive information. 

Nurses will be benefited significantly as they will be well aware of the protection and security of their patient’s information. 

In short, interdisciplinary coordination is important to ensure the safety of patient’s healthcare information, confidentiality, and privacy (Torres-Castaño et al., 2023).

Evidence-based Approaches to Mitigate Risks to Patients’ Information

To reduce the risks and security breaches to electronic health information (EHI), there are many finest measures. 

For extremely sensitive data, nurses should set a two-factor authentication mechanism for electronic safety. Nurse practitioners can execute the systems to limit unauthorized access to electronic healthcare data (Chinnasamy et al., 2020). For highly confidential information, such as those including HIV and cancer, clinically geocoded data must be used to prevent unintentional disclosure (Fleming et al., 2019). 

Avoiding errors when entering information. Be cautious while copying and pasting data to reduce the chance of security breaches. Healthcare administrators should make sure that employees are educated on HIPAA and other healthcare privacy legislation. (Alshaikh, 2020).

Staff Update about Information Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality

In recent years, there have been many instances of staff termination due to the insensible use of social media on hospital premises. 

Numerous nurses are penalized for uploading their pictures with the patients. To guarantee nurses can comply with these safety rules, laws, and updates.

Execution of access rules: While complying with HIPAA, regulations, nurses will control access to sensitive healthcare data by limiting access. Any unauthorized or unofficial person will not have the patient’s personal information (Hatwood et al., 2019).

Use of complicated passwords: To store and save data on computed and cloud, healthcare workers will only use complicated passwords which will ensure limited personnel access to electronic health information.

Two-factor authentication: The data access of unauthorized personnel and any data breach will be screened through control measures like two-factor authentication.

Encryption: Encryption is an effective tool that can be used by nurses to protect sensitive healthcare data to prevent digital data breaches (Meisami et al., 2023). This will also ensure that patient information is not leaked on social media.

Staff education: Healthcare workers should be sufficiently educated on HIPAA security policies.

Digital media rule: If any of the sensitive information of the patient is being posted on social media, there should be a penalty imposition of $10,000.

Monitoring activity dashboards: The activities on healthcare dashboards and logs will be screened and analyzed on a regular basis by nurses. Any illegal data activity will immediately be reported to higher officials (Beerepoot et al., 2021).

Conclusion

The protection of healthcare information and patient confidentiality is important to decrease illegal disclosures ad data access in healthcare settings. The update by the healthcare workers helps to give protective practices and rules for workers to comply with the organization’s rules. By complying with the rules and policies, nurses and healthcare providers can enhance their jobs and roles by avoiding ethical breaches, fines, and punishments. Thus, better and stronger PHI rules can enhance the output of a healthcare organization.

References

Alshaikh, M. (2020). Developing Cybersecurity Culture to Influence Employee Behavior: A Practice Perspective. Computers & Security, 98, 102003. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cose.2020.102003

Arogundade, O. R. (2023). Network Security Concepts, Dangers, and Defense Best Practical. Computer Engineering and Intelligent Systems. https://doi.org/10.7176/ceis/14-2-03

Bani Issa, W., Al Akour, I., Ibrahim, A., Almarzouqi, A., Abbas, S., Hisham, F., & Griffiths, J. (2020). Privacy, Confidentiality, Security and Patient Safety Concerns About Electronic Health Records. International Nursing Review, 67(2), 218–230. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12585

Beerepoot, I., Lu, X., Van De Weerd, I., & Alexander Reijers, H. (2021). Seeing the Signs of Workarounds: A Mixed-Methods Approach to the Detection of Nurses’ Process Deviations. In scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu. ScholarSpace. https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/71072

Chinnasamy, P., Deepalakshmi, P., & Shankar, K. (2020, January 1). Chapter 6 – An analysis of security access control on healthcare records in the cloud (A. K. Singh & M. Elhoseny, Eds.). ScienceDirect; Academic Press. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780128195116000066

Fleming, G. A., Petrie, J. R., Bergenstal, R. M., Holl, R. W., Peters, A. L., & Heinemann, L. (2019). Diabetes Digital App Technology: Benefits, Challenges, and Recommendations. A Consensus Report by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Diabetes Technology Working Group. Diabetes Care, 43(1), 250–260. https://doi.org/10.2337/dci19-0062

Hatwood, C., Alexander, S., & Imsand, E. (2019). Nurse Researchers Move to the Cloud. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 33(4), 164–166. https://doi.org/10.1097/nur.0000000000000462

Hayes, E., & Vance, K. (2020). Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Of 1996: Health & Public Welfare. Georgia State University Law Review, 37(1), 153. https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol37/iss1/14/

Meisami, S., Meisami, S., Yousefi, M., & Aref, M. (2023). Combining Blockchain And IOT For Decentralized Healthcare Data Management. International Journal on Cryptography and Information Security (IJCIS), 13(1). https://doi.org/10.5121/ijcis.2023.13102

Moore, W., & Frye, S. (2019). Review of HIPAA, Part 1: History, Protected Health Information, and Privacy and Security Rules. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, 47(4), 269–272. https://doi.org/10.2967/jnmt.119.227819

Shuaib, M., Alam, S., Shabbir Alam, M., & Shahnawaz Nasir, M. (2021). Compliance with HIPAA and GDPR in blockchain-based electronic health record. Materials Today: Proceedings. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2021.03.059

Torres-Castaño, A., Abt-Sacks, A., Toledo-Chávarri, A., Suarez-Herrera, J. C., Delgado-Rodríguez, J., León-Salas, B., González-Hernández, Y., Carmona-Rodríguez, M., & Serrano-Aguilar, P. (2023). Ethical, Legal, Organisational and Social Issues of Teleneurology: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(4), 3694. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043694

Vukusic Rukavina, T., Viskic, J., Machala Poplasen, L., Relic, D., Marelic, M., Jokic, D., & Sedak, K. (2020). Dangers And Benefits of Social Media on E-professionalism of Healthcare Professionals: Scoping review (preprint). Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(11). https://doi.org/10.2196/25770

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