healthcare providers must meet strict requirements concerning patient privacy B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
Advances in healthcare technology are showing that improvement in efficiency, cost, and error reduction are attainable. The healthcare industry has seen increases in the use of electronic health records and other health information management systems as a cost-effective way of storing and maintaining vital patient information. However, along with these advances in technology, the healthcare system is faced with new privacy issues and challenges.
As part of the Economic Recovery Act and recent health care legislation, the federal government has put increased pressure on hospitals and physicians to adopt electronic health records and use them in a “meaningful” way. The government’s Meaningful Use Guidelines will play an important role in ensuring long-term success for many healthcare organizations. These guidelines require certain healthcare organizations to gather important patient information such as demographic data, an in-depth history, drug interactions, and allergies along with other information regarding the patient’s health. Along with the data collection, healthcare providers must meet strict requirements concerning patient privacy and patient record security.
Healthcare managers not only need to be aware of these guidelines, but must also be prepared to develop systems that comply with new Meaningful Use Guidelines. Even if the healthcare organization is not directly regulated by meaningful use, it is very likely that electronic health records are or soon will be part of the organization. Therefore, it is important for healthcare professionals to recognize that electronic health records have specific privacy and security issues that need to be addressed and it is the manager’s job to ensure compliance.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
- Apply privacy policies and procedures within a healthcare organization.
- Apply internal privacy policies and make recommendations to remain compliant.
- Website: Meaningful Use Guidelines
The Meaningful Use Guidelines set the standard for privacy and security of electronic health records. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Information Technology division has published meaningful use guidelines on its website and continues to update any changes to upcoming policy and deadlines. By reviewing the website, you’ll get a better understanding of what meaningful use guidelines are and how they play an important role in healthcare record privacy protection. Be sure to review suggested best practices from the HealthIT website.
- Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
- On the Department of Health and Human Services website, review the Meaningful Use Guidelines.
- Be sure to familiarize yourself with the privacy standards related to Meaningful Use Guidelines and the implementation of electronic health records.
- Thinking like a healthcare administrator, imagine that you have been asked to prepare a report to your superiors on how meaningful use guidelines impact patient privacy and suggestion best practices to ensure compliance at all levels of your healthcare organization.
- Be sure to consider the end users of electronic health records, such as nurses and clinical technicians who enter patient information into the system.
- Find at least one other article that discusses best practice for meeting meaningful use guidelines and securing privacy of electronic health records.
- Develop a three- to four-page paper, in APA format, that describes meaningful use, discusses privacy and security related to electronic health records, and analyzes the impact of meaningful use on healthcare organizations. Conclude your paper with an overview of current best practices, supported by the literature, for complying with these external privacy policies.