Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues of information systems in nursing


Communication and information technologies (ICT) continuous developments that include ambient devices, internet and intelligent computer systems, have resulted in more practical use of these technologies in the fields of medical care provision and practice. This implication has led to new social impacts and concerns in terms of technology in medicine. The identified concerns range from legal, regulatory and ethical issues on technology pervasiveness in the medical practitioners daily lives. With this overview the main purpose of this article is to debate and discus ICT impact on the medicine practice.

Importance of ethical, legal, and regulatory issues and information technology

Relevance of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues in relation to information technology can be seen by the way the internet has been implemented to provide medical consultation, medical information and drug prescriptions easily to many clients. In addition, the many medical information sites make it easier for the patients to access their medical records and consult the doctors through the internet, where they can even buy them online.

Other more evident benefits of the e-medicine to the patients include them having more information and better understanding on the possible treatments, illness and drugs. They can also get a second opinion more easily through the internet doctors and through this the dependency on only local doctors is adequately reduced. The patient can get more accurate and fast information on their health through the medical records also helps address the autonomy in the practice by ensuring the patients are well informed(Heckle, 2011).
Ethical issues and using information systems in nursing

Some of the most evident ethical issues that arise from the implementation of technology in the health care system include facts like with the clinician’s ease of accessing patient records, issues rise in cases that they have to handle adolescent patient’s data in light of the parent’s proxy access to the same information. In that although the adolescents are allowed to consent to treatments for certain sensitive conditions and also keep some information from their parents in which a need for parental involvement may inhibit care consent on some therapies would cause some problems.

Complex ethical issues also arise from the computer-based personal health information breaches; an example is on the way institutions currently justify firing personnel who without authorization deliberately access EHRs through the use of audit logs (Pelotti, 2012).

Legislation and information systems

The legislation roles in the information systems adoption and regulation in health care and nursing include it providing them with guidelines to be able to provide the patients with increased access to high-quality and affordable health care. These systems will in addition help improve the accessibility of the health care through eventually providing a guarantee for insurance coverage for those who could not initially afford.

In addition the information systems legislations will help in the retention and education of the specific shareholders and other programs geared toward maintaining and building the nursing future workforce. These would include specific federal grants aimed at advanced education nursing and baccalaureate; National Nurse Service Corps, workforce diversity. This can all be regarded as having critical roles in addressing some of the health care issues and future continuation. Through specific and carefully selected and implemented legislations laws or policies can be enacted that can expand and strengthen health care and nursing to provide the level of quality care it should (Tellman, Litt, Knapp, Eagan, Cheng, &Radonovich, 2010).

Impact of specific legislation

The 1996 enacted HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, continues to have broad impact on health consumers, health providers and state health policy. Some of the impacts on the patients include them having a guarantee on the group or individual rights coverage under certain circumstances. Pre-existing conditions for people in group health plans impacts are also limited by the HIPAA application. HIPAA also impacts the patient through its provision of an anti-discrimination law that guarantees they cannot be charged higher or discriminated on based on their health status. The HIPAA also impacts the patient’s treatment by making them more consistent as they are used in the electronic formats of the health plans (Milionis, 2013).

In addition compliance to the HIPAA throughout the health care industry will impact the patient positively since it evidently leads to, enhanced member and patient security and privacy of their health plans overhead cost reductions, through standardization and personal health information. It also helps with data submission simplify through code sets and transactions that have been standardized as possible new options for referrals and submission authorization that allow authorizations in standardized formats and multiple referrals transmissions formats. Additional options for batch and online inquiries provide alternatives for receive a timely response on the status of each requested claim and for send multiple claim inquiries in one file.




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