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HCA 827 TOPIC 3 Discussion Question One

HCA 827 TOPIC 3 Discussion Question One

 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs and influences compliance policy at all health care organizations including policy that drives patient data protection workflows. What do you believe is the most significant way that HIPAA influences the use of technology in the patient data communication workflow? Why?

Weiss and Legrand (2011) define the innovation gap as the difference between the stated importance of innovation and the actual results achieved in an organization []. In its day, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) represented a significant advance: society’s commitment to the protection of patient data, defending their rights by keeping sensitive

HCA 827 TOPIC 3 Discussion Question One

HCA 827 TOPIC 3 Discussion Question One

health care information private and secure. Over a decade later, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act [] included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus legislation (2009) acknowledged some of the technological enhancements associated with the science of health care delivery and increased the penalties associated with violating the Act in a collective effort to promote the proper guardianship of health care data (Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS) []. The Security Rule was created with unusual foresight as a set of flexible requirements that could change and adapt with innovation.

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Yet every week, the headlines online and in the papers discuss significant HIPAA infractions. The US Office for Civil Rights maintains a website dedicated to the public reporting of breaches affecting 500 or more individuals []. Online bloggers have publicly questioned whether details leaked to the press about the circumstances surrounding the recent death of the artist Prince constituted a HIPAA violation [], illustrating the heightened anxiety the general public feels about the ability of the health care profession to adequately protect the privacy and security of health care data. The scholarly literature continues to report that concerns about data breaches is a chief concern of patients, ultimately affecting the trust a patient places in a provider and in a health care facility []. We listen to stories from our friends and patients about the battles they have mounted to gain access to their own health care data.

We wrestle within our own organizations to make sense of HIPAA and to deploy its requirements responsibly while rolling out the next generation of health information technology (HIT), like real-time clinical dashboards and apps. Some have argued the iniquitousness of a rule that applies to health care apps but not consumer apps, even when they contain similar information []. We struggle to train a new generation of health care providers on electronic health record (EHR) systems and we refuse to share data with researchers out of fear of violating the rules. In short, it seems at times that our use of the Privacy and Security Rules has not adapted or supported the achievements and demands of health care.

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