• What safeguards do you presently have in your professional practice to ensure protection of patient information? 

Protection of patient information is currently upheld with Epic safeguards. Epic users can log off of the system to close all patient charts and access to information in the EHR. Computers can also be secured when not presently being used, saving a place in a patient’s chart or workflow without leaving it open for unauthorized access. An organizational policy is to cover all patient identification on paper charts and patient specimens so that others cannot walk by and view this information.

  • What safeguards are currently utilized at your healthcare organization to ensure privacy? 

To ensure privacy, safeguards that are currently utilized are screen protectors. The tint on the protector acts as a shade to make it difficult to see information on a screen unless you are sitting directly in front of the computer. This is to protect patient information from others who may be passing by a computer where another employee is working. An organizational policy when rooming or triaging patients is to call out in a waiting room using only the patient’s last name. Once the patient has been pulled into a private room, their first name and date of birth can be verified so that others cannot hear. Two patient identifiers are another means of privacy protection when calling patients to schedule care or give lab results over the phone. 

  • What types of ethical concerns could an organization incur if a data breach were to occur?

If a data breach were to occur, ethical concerns would be privacy and security. This may result from ethical dilemmas of truth vs loyalty or immediate vs future (Crowder & Turvey, 2013). If a data breach occurs unknowingly because an employee choose to leave their desk with the computer unlocked & patient information up, this data breach would be immediate vs future. The employee put their immediate need of leaving their desk ahead of future consequences. If an employee shared patient information with a coworker or friend, that would be a violation of HIPAA and of the patient’s personal integrity (Crowder & Turvey, 2013). Confidentiality and security has been a concern in healthcare ethical dilemmas with not only in-person appointments and offices, but also with telehealth visits, as sharing health information during virtual visits and technology malfunctions can easily result in data breaches (Houser et al., 2023). 


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