The growth of informatics in the nursing field has been integral in facilitating the efficient management of information and communication processes in the delivery of healthcare services (Van Weert & Munro, 2013). This paper compares the different informatics policies developed by varying organizations before identifying the aligned laws and the recommended changes to foster the efficiency of the policy and procedures.
The Best Practices Policy
The “best practices” policy is one of the key ethical standards that seek to facilitate ethical practices in the delivery of nursing services. The policy requires nurses among other health experts to uphold the professional-patient relationship in a way that supports and protects the rights and freedoms of the two parties mutually. Mainly, the policy values trust and advocacy in the delivery of nursing services, thus, fostering ethical standards in the management of informatics (Kulikowski et al., 2012).
The aligned public law for the best practices policy is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 that seeks to promote the concept of “best practices” in the management of health information technology. The HITECH Act focuses on the aspects of quality, safety, and ethical standards applied in the management of informatics (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2013).
Information Security and Confidentiality
The information security and confidentiality policy forms a standard guideline that various healthcare organizations apply to foster ethical practices in the management of information and communication through technology. Mainly, the policy aims at ensuring that nursing practitioners have the right to determine the type of data collected, fostering accuracy, and determining its usage. Thus, doing so promotes the security, privacy, and confidentiality of the information gathered (Barber, Scholes, Fairey, & Roberts, 2013).
The Privacy Act of 1974 constitutes one of the public laws aligned with the identified policy. The law allows patients to gain control of information collected, foster data veracity and obtain copies of the information gathered (Meslin et al., 2013). The Act covers electronic medical records to ensure the dominance of ethical practice.
The Cost Efficiency Policy
The management of informatics needs to apply the principle of economy to facilitate the sustainability of the system. For this reason, the integration of informatics into the practice of nursing ought to result in cost benefits to the organization and the patients. Therefore, the systems should not cause a financial burden to the patient but facilitate the delivery of quality services at affordable prices (Nelson & Staggers, 2014).
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, as an aligned public law to the mentioned policy, seeks to streamline insurance mechanisms in the health care sector. Mainly, the law focuses on health informatics by facilitating low insurance costs and promoting the integration of uninsured individuals in the healthcare information technology systems. Additionally, the policy also focuses on the security aspect of information (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2013).
The following table depicts the identified policies and their aligned public laws before identifying the suitable changes an organization should consider ion the management of informatics.
|Policy or Procedure||A brief description||An aligned law or ethical statement||Changes that should be made|
|The Best Practices Policy||Focuses on the maintenance of ethical nursing practices by upholding the professional-patient relationship||The HITECH Act of 2009||The organization should also consider the integration of evidence-based practice to foster the realization of best practices when applying informatics in nursing practice.|
|Information Security and Confidentiality||Allows the nurse to determine the processes involved in data collection and sharing||The Privacy Act of 1974||The patient should also take part in determining the data collection process and who accesses the information.|
|Cost Efficiency||The policy seeks to foster the realization of cost benefits from informatics.||The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010||The health organization should also consider promoting the realization of cost benefits to the patient besides the organization including covering uninsured patients.|
Barber, B., Scholes, M., Fairey, M., & Roberts, J. (2013). David Kenny (1940–2011): Informatician who established some of the first principles of data privacy and confidentiality. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 20(1), 75-76.
Hoffman, S., & Podgurski, A. (2013). Big bad data: law, public health, and biomedical databases. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 41(s1), 56-60.
Kulikowski, A., Shortliffe, H., Currie, M., Elkin, L., Hunter, E., Johnson, R.,…Smith, J. (2012). AMIA Board white paper: definition of biomedical informatics and specification of core competencies for graduate education in the discipline. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 19(6), 931-938.
Meslin, M., Alpert, A., Carroll, E., Odell, D., Tierney, M., & Schwartz, H. (2013). Giving patients granular control of personal health information: using an ethics ‘Points to Consider’ to inform informatics system designers. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 82(12), 1136-1143.
Nelson, R., & Staggers, N. (2014). Health informatics: An interprofessional approach. Radarweg, Amsterdam: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Van Weert, J., & Munro, R. (2013). Informatics and the Digital Society: Social, Ethical and Cognitive Issues. New York, NY: Springer.