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Ethical/Legal Risks Assessment - Coursework Example

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Ethical/Legal Risks Assessment 21 November 2012 Informatics continues to change nursing in different ways. Like other professions, nursing informatics is faced with different issues, which could be ethical or legal in nature. This arises out of the patient-nurse relations, which comprise the nursing practice…
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Ethical/Legal Risks Assessment
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Download file to see previous pages This issue mainly arises due to the automation of the patients’ medical records (Hunt, Sproat, & Kitzmiller, 2004). Before informatics, patient information was in hard copy and stored away in prohibited cabinets to ensure privacy of the information. However, with the introduction of computers, laws that governed this issue were loosened. This paper addresses ethical issues by presenting a case of ethical risks, their analysis according to the nursing ethical codes, and the appropriate strategies for resolving them. The conclusion will give the summary of important insights, which are discussed in this paper. Sometimes, most healthcare institutions break the rules which govern the privacy of patient medical records either knowingly or unknowingly. Personal observation at my place of work led to the realization of many of such cases of ethical risks where nursing practitioners breach these laws. First, sometimes safeguarding of patient information is not observed. Occasionally, patients are interviewed in the presence of their family members and in an open environment where outside parties can hear the conversation. In addition, some health workers still chart the medical information of patients in computers in the presence of other people. Another issue is about the confidentiality and security of the patients’ personal data on the system. ...
When researchers use the available data, they get realistic results, in addition to this being cost-effective. However, there arises the safety issue when such large data sets are used. This way patients’ privacy is put at risk. All health workers are professionally charged with ensuring the privacy of patients’ personal and medical data. Health workers, therefore, need to safeguard all the information that their patients share with them (Gerdin-Jelger, et al., 1997). By interviewing the patients in an open environment and in the presence of family members, they breach the privacy of the patients. The patients also have a right to decide whom they want to share their information with. In addition, only the patients can decide which information will be shared and which will not be shared. When a patient discloses their personal health conditions to the health worker in the presence of other people, this confidential information is made known to different parties, thus violating the privacy of the patient. With the introduction of computers technology in nursing, the confidentiality issue raises many concerns. According to the nursing informatics, code of ethics, the confidentiality, and security of patients’ medical records on computers is their right. When the records of patients are put on the computer, it is easy for other health care professionals to get access to it. This way, the medical records of many patients can be accessed more than before when hard copies were still in use. In nursing informatics, data security has three different aspects. First, the nursing professionals must ensure the accuracy of information by entering the correct data. Failure to do this may lead to misdiagnosis and wrong prescriptions, which is detrimental to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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