NURS 8002 Discussion Ethics and the DNP-Prepared Nurse
You are likely already upholding ethics in nursing and healthcare delivery in your current nursing practice experience. As mentioned in the introduction for this week, a patient-focused approach that promotes the delivery of safe, quality, and cost-effective healthcare for promoting positive patient outcomes represents a fundamental alignment to ethical principles for the delivery of healthcare. In your journey toward becoming a DNP-prepared nurse, you will continue to uphold ethical principles in your nursing practice and will likely continue to serve as an advocate for adhering to these principles in all you do.
Health informatics entails dealing with sensitive and confidential data digitally. Therefore, various ethical standards have been enforced to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ data. Health providers are expected to handle patient data carefully and give serious attention to their privacy (Dolezel & McLeod, 2019). Protection of privacy and confidentiality of patient data is crucial to maintaining the trusting relationship between health providers and patients and is fundamental to professional practice (Dolezel & McLeod, 2019). The nurse informaticist has a role in advocating for an environment that provides privacy of patient information.
Security breaches have heavily threatened the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ data when using information technology such as electronic health records (EHR). A data breach refers to an unlawful disclosure or use of the information without authorization (Hewitt et al., 2017). Data breaches are grouped into internal and external breaches. An internal data breach entails incidents that occur through an internal agent. This includes inauthentic access/disclosure, privilege abuse, inappropriate disposal of unnecessary but sensitive data, and unintentional disclosure of confidential data to an unauthorized party (Hewitt et al., 2017). On the other hand, external data breaches refer to incidents from an external entity or source. They include hacking or IT incident such as spyware, malware attack, ransomware attack, phishing, or fraud in the form of stolen cards.
Access to health data to third parties is associated with physical, emotional, and dignitary harm to patients. It also contributes to huge financial setbacks on health organizations and damages the image of the organizations, defaming their reputation and brand value (Jalali & Kaiser, 2018). The number of security breaches of EHR in healthcare organizations has risen over time with the increased use of electronics and digital technology such as smartphones and computers. According to Dolezel and McLeod (2019), the security breaches are due to: Incidents of hacking and IT; Unauthorized access to EHRs and disclosure of information; Theft of electronic equipment containing the EHR system; Improper disposal of electronic- personal health information.
The number of reported data breaches in the U.S over the years is as follows: 2009 had 18, 2010 had 199, 2012 had 218, 2014 had 314, 2016 had 327, and 2018 had 365. According to Seh et al. (2020), 2163 breaches were reported by HIPAA from 2010 to 2017. The total number of medical records exposed from these breaches was 180.65 million. Besides, 2244 breaches were reported by the OCR over the same period, with a total of 180.6 million records being exposed from these breaches (Seh et al., 2020). Furthermore, out of the 850 hacking/IT incidents reported from 2010–2019, 692 incidents occurred in the last four years accounting for 81.85% of the total (Seh et al., 2020). The common locations where security breaches occurred include EHR, desktop computers, laptops, other portable electronic devices, paper documents, email, and network servers.
The analysis reveals that security breaches and other IT-related attacks have become a major concern for nursing informatics. Therefore, it is crucial to make portable EHRs more secure through technology advancements such as cloud-based EHR systems (Sivan & Zukarnain, 2021). In these systems, data is stored on external servers and can be accessed with any device that has an internet connection, making it secure than when using server-based EHR systems (Sivan & Zukarnain, 2021). My capstone project seeks to focus on how using cloud-based EHR systems can improve the privacy and confidentiality of patient data in nursing informatics.
Dolezel, D., & McLeod, A. (2019). Managing security risk: modeling the root causes of data breaches. The health care manager, 38(4), 322-330. https://doi.org/10.1097/HCM.0000000000000282
Hewitt, B., Dolezel, D., & McLeod, A., Jr (2017). Mobile Device Security: Perspectives of Future Healthcare Workers. Perspectives in health information management, 14(Winter), 1c.
Jalali, M. S., & Kaiser, J. P. (2018). Cybersecurity in hospitals: a systematic, organizational perspective. Journal of medical Internet research, 20(5), e10059. https://doi.org/10.2196/10059
Seh, A. H., Zarour, M., Alenezi, M., Sarkar, A. K., Agrawal, A., Kumar, R., & Ahmad Khan, R. (2020). Healthcare data breaches: Insights and implications. In Healthcare (Vol. 8, No. 2, p. 133). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020133
Sivan, R., & Zukarnain, Z. A. (2021). Security and Privacy in Cloud-Based E-Health System. Symmetry, 13(5), 742. https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13050742
For this Discussion, reflect on the case studies/scenarios related to ethical challenges presented in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about how these ethical challenges may mirror your own experiences in nursing practice. Consider what other ethical challenges may arise in your own nursing practice or as you continue your program of study.
- Review the case studies/scenarios related to ethical challenges presented in this week’s Learning Resources.
- Reflect on ethical challenges related to the organization or at the point of care that you may have encountered in your nursing practice.
- Consider what new ethical challenges you might face once you obtain your doctoral degree.
By Day 3 of Week 10
Post an explanation of at least two significant ethical issues relevant to the DNP-prepared nurse. Then explain how these issues might compare to the types of issues you have encountered in your practice. Be specific and provide examples.
By Day 5 of Week 10
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days by expanding upon your colleague’s post or suggesting an alternative approach to the ethical issue described by your colleague.
Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!
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Ethics and the application of ethical principles is of supreme importance in nursing practice and healthcare delivery. So much of what nurses and healthcare professionals do daily stems directly from an ethical point of reference or frame. Providing patient care and ensuring patient safety while enhancing quality and diminishing costs are all well-intended and ethical practices that you likely already engage in your nursing practice. A strong ethical awareness and adherence to ethical guidelines is just one way you will positively impact your patients in your role.
What’s Happening This Module?
Module 5: Ethics and Issues for Social Change Advocacy is a 2-week module—Weeks 10–11 of the course—in which you examine the role of the DNP-prepared nurse in upholding and abiding by professional standards for the delivery of ethical nursing practice. You will also reflect on how the role of the DNP-prepared nurse is central to social change advocacy for the improvement of healthcare and nursing quality, the positive impact on patient outcomes, and positive impacts on the community as a whole. In Week 10, you will review resources that highlight potential ethical issues in healthcare and nursing practice. You will engage with your colleagues in a Discussion that will focus on the significant ethical issues you reviewed that are relevant to the DNP-prepared nurse. In your Blog Assignment for Week 11, you will consider how you anticipate enacting a personal and professional commitment toward social change advocacy as a DNP-prepared nurse.
Go to the Week’s Content
Week 10: The Doctorally Prepared Nurse: Ethics
What does it mean to uphold ethics in advanced nursing practice? What strategies and considerations are important for ensuring the ethical and safe delivery of healthcare as a DNP-prepared nurse?
This week, you will examine ethical issues relevant to the role of the DNP-prepared nurse. You will explore ethical issues you may likely encounter in nursing practice and reflect on potential strategies to mitigate ethical violations in practice.
- Analyze ethical issues related to the role of the DNP-prepared nurse
- Analyze ethical issues encountered in professional nursing practice