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The world of health care - Term Paper Example

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The health care infrastructure is undergoing a revolution whereby novel technological innovations such as electronic medical records have been incorporated in to the health care system in place of the conventional paper records. …
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Use an article on a regulatory issue affecting health care organizations. the issue, applicable regulations, and provide a summary on how a health care leader might address, comply with, or resolve and then monitor the issue. In the modern era of innovation and globalization, with shrinking distances and integrated economies, the world of health care is also undergoing a paradigm shift. The health care infrastructure is undergoing a revolution whereby novel technological innovations such as electronic medical records have been incorporated in to the health care system in place of the conventional paper records. The introduction of electronic medical records has enabled health care personnel to improve the quality of health care delivered by not only reducing the costs and errors but also by making the system more personalized for patients (Meingast, Roosta, & Sastry, 2006). There are several advantages of electronic medical records including ease of access for both patients and health care providers, reduction in errors, and standardization of medical terms and records. The electronic medical records are accessible via the internet by the patients, their health care providers, such as physicians and nurses, and other stakeholders such as insurance companies (Meingast, Roosta, & Sastry, 2006). This leads to a myriad of regulatory issues regarding the security and privacy of the patient data. The main regulatory issues regarding the protection and confidentiality of the patient data include concerns regarding the privileges to access the data, reliable storage of data, security of data transfer and the rights to use and analyze patient data (Meingast, Roosta, & Sastry, 2006). There are several regulations in place regarding the safety of patient data. The main regulatory framework in place is the Federal Regulations of The American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (Meingast, Roosta, & Sastry, 2006). HIPAA lays down several standards which have to be complied to while dealing with patient medical records, including patient data, bills and accounts and contains guidelines regarding consent and authorization procedures. According to the HIPAA regulations, all medical records should be standardized, error-free and freely accessible by the patients and patients should be informed regarding how the information regarding their health is going to be utilized (Meingast, Roosta, & Sastry, 2006). It is the responsibility of health care leaders to ensure that all regulations enforced by HIPAA and other regulatory authorities are adhered to. In order to comply with HIPAA regulations governing electronic medical records health care leaders should enact safety nets and safeguards at multiple levels such as the introduction of role based access control procedures; data encryption, both at the level of hardware and software; and introduction of authentication mechanisms such as passwords, digital signatures, and challenge response authentication protocol (Meingast, Roosta, & Sastry, 2006). The responsibility of ensuring the proper implementation and adherence to all the regulatory standards, including HIPAA, falls on the shoulders of health care leaders. In order to monitor adherence to the existing regulations, health care leaders should carry out regular audits, both internal and external, to ensure that health care standards are being followed. The shortcomings identified during these audits should be reviewed and policy modifications should be made in order to improve the pre-existing regulatory framework. Thus, in conclusion, the introduction of electronic medical records brings with it several regulatory challenges regarding the security and confidentially of patient data with a potential for mishandling and misuse. There are several regulations in place in order to ensure the proper handling of patient data, including the HIPAA regulations introduced at the Federal level by the Congress. It is the responsibility of the health care leaders to ensure proper compliance with these standards within their organization and to monitor the compliance via various measures such as internal and external audits. References Meingast, M., Roosta, T., & Sastry, S. (2006). Security and Privacy Issues with Health Care Information Technology. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society; 28th Annual International Conference of the IEEE 28th Annual International Conference of the IEEE , 5453 - 5458. Read More
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