Ethical Challenges and HIM – Medical Ethics Example

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"Ethical Challenges and HIM" is a great example of a paper on medical ethics. The concern in healthcare consumers regarding the security of their personal health information and the potential loss of privacy in this element is on the increase. There is also the issue of health information use and disclosure and how to control it. Examples of major health information issues include the information that requires to be collected, the manner in which this information is handled, the individuals authorized to access this information, the circumstances under which the information can be disclosed, retention of the information and the confidential disclosure of this information once it ceases to be in use.

The performance of these major health information issues must comply with regulations at the state and federal levels and must also follow the policies and procedures of the employer. Ethical obligations are vital and must be applied accordingly by the professional regardless of the site of employment or the method used in collecting, storing, and securing health information. Ethical challenges may occur in the structure of information systems that are applied in the health data processing.

This data is processed into information that will enhance decision making and other related factors in the system. Other areas that would experience ethical challenges are the dynamics, design, implementation, as well as the maintenance of health information systems (Patricia and Safran, 2005). The structure of the information system would be utilized as a reference point in the operations (collection, storage, and retrieval of information) in the healthcare information system. Therefore, it is bound to experience ethical concerns. The design and dynamics of the information system would be influenced similarly by ethical issues.

The healthcare consumer is increasingly expressing concern regarding the security of their personal health information and the potential of its privacy being compromised. As a result, certain ethical standards are required of the professional and the design and dynamics of the healthcare information system have to consider these requirements. Standards and regulations go through modifications and reforms. The debates on which reforms to embrace and which policies to maintain should be based on key priorities which are mostly consumer satisfaction and upholding quality of care. The areas experiencing ethical challenges can be aided by the AHIMA code of ethics which stipulates a number of guidelines to be followed by professionals (Patricia and Safran, 2005).

The requirement in the code of ethics to safeguard the patient’ s confidential information would, for instance, be applied in the health information structure, design, and dynamics. Safeguarding their information will include financial, health, genetic as well as their personal information but it will not be limited to these factors. Once the structure observes such guidelines, the implementation phase would follow smoothly as the necessary requirements would be stipulated clearly.

  The implementation and maintenance of the information system are exposed to the challenge of self-interests. In the AHIMA code of ethics, the professional is required to prioritize service as well as the welfare and health of other people before self-interest (Patricia and Safran, 2005). In this way, the professional would serve in a manner that brings them honor as well as the profession of health information management. Other stipulations in the code of ethics would overcome ethical challenges in a similar or such manner. In conclusion, health information management if effectively practiced would lead to increased health care consumer satisfaction, improve the quality of health care services, and bring honor to the HIM profession.

Areas such as the structure, dynamics, implementation, and maintenance of the health information system are faced with various ethical challenges. The AHIMA Code of ethics can be applied as guidelines in managing the ethical challenges that face some HIM areas.


Patricia, B., and Safran, C. (2005).Consumer Health Informatics: Informing Consumers and Improving Health Care. New York: Springer.
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