Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – Health System Example

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"Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act" is a worthy example of a paper on the health system. The security of healthcare data was mandated by HIPAA to protect and secure confidential information that is provided to healthcare professionals by patients and other agencies. The term HIPAA means Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and this law was enacted in 1996 by congress in order to secure healthcare data and set up physical, administrative and technical methods to provide protection for privacy and ensure the integrity of health information (HISP Webinar, 2008). Protection of patients’ rights to privacy and the sensitivity to healthcare information have been major concerns regarding the doctor-patient relationship.

Under the Privacy Act of 1974, laws were implemented to protect patient privacy but there was no mention of electronic healthcare data (Kuhn et al. , 2009). HIPAA is designed to increase privacy and security; however, due to the overgrowth of data and advancements in the widespread of communication and technology, as the transferring of data increases exponentially, security measures must be further enforced and improved in order to ensure patient privacy. As the amount of healthcare data increases and increasing numbers of data formats are being developed and exchanged on a regular basis, data security has had to become more diverse (Cruz-Correia et al. , 2000).

It is believed that the progress of technology in regards to electronic records will lead to great improvements in healthcare systems. Modern paperless systems are convenient and allow access only to those who are authorized only to view certain information (Stewart, 2005). However, the probability of sensitive information being used inappropriately by unauthorized personnel has become detrimental.

The sharing of information has been the determining factor in data security measures, which are mandated by local, state, and national laws. Sometimes laws vary from state to state in terms of the degree of privacy that is required. It is believed that, due to increases in the amount of electronic data being recorded, data security will become more and more important as the healthcare community evolves towards a mandated electronic health record in 2014. In order to keep technology developing at the same rate as clinical practices, medical data is an essential factor, as it will assist with legal and safety issues and provide easy access to healthcare providers (British Medical Journal, 2007).

Therefore, other agencies have been implemented to put policies in place to deal with these types of issues. Other agencies and organizations have been put in place to ensure the safety and security of patients’ confidential and legal rights. One of these organizations is the ethics committee, which provides ethical programs to educate healthcare professionals regarding legal issues and allows them to participate in developing and revising policies.

The committee is made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, and lawyers, who collaborate regarding issues that involve patient safety and staffing policies. The members of this committee help clinicians make clinical decisions regarding legal issues by discussing and evaluating legal and regulatory policies. This committee also assists in resolving conflicts and the uncertainties that surround contemporary healthcare and the patient value system.

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