The present paper reviews the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (2016) in the regulation of healthcare informatics. CDC (2016) is a state agency that, among other things, is relevant from the point of view of the healthcare legislation of the US, including the regulations that are related to health informatics. As can be deduced with the help of the information from Dan Mizerany’s speech, CDC (2016) fulfills the executive role because it “has authorities to implement regulations related to protecting America from health and safety threats” (para. 1). The regulations that CDC (2016) implements are produced by the Congress.
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CDC (2016) implements the legislation by being among the bodies that develop regulations (administrative law). Apart from that, the agency contributes to the implementation of regulations by producing briefs and other forms of publications that review currently relevant the legislation for different audiences (Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance [DHIS], 2016; Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, 2015). To sum up, CDC (2016) is directly and extensively involved in law enforcement through a variety of activities. To manage these extensive activities, the body has multiple divisions. DHIS (2016) appears to be the key body that is concerned with health informatics, and its website contains an overview of legislation that is relevant for health professionals.
The scope of CDC’s (2016) regulation efforts is very extensive; for instance, together with its parent agency, CDC is concerned with enforcing Public Health regulations (Electronic code of federal regulations, 2015). Some of these regulations demand the prevention of unauthorized use and disclosure of sensitive information through the implementation of appropriate and reasonable safety policies and procedures for electronic health records (EHR) (Title 42: Chapter I: Subchapter A: Part 2).
The said regulations provide some guidelines on the policies for EHR users, suggesting procedures for the transfer, management, and destruction of EHR. Also, these regulations specify the information on the disclosure factors that an EHR user has to take into account. However, they still presuppose a sufficient amount of freedom in the choice of specific policies that can be used. As a result, the regulations appear quite detailed but not restrictive.
To sum up, the regulations seem to be quite helpful from the legal perspective. Apart from that, they take into account the need for a balance between ethics and public safety and also provide guidelines for the management of ethically complicated cases (for example, those involving minor or incompetent patients). Therefore, the regulations are also very helpful from the ethical point of view, which makes it important for any healthcare provider to study them. As for their revision, it appears to be necessary for the majority of laws and rules since they need to stay updated and relevant in the changing nursing environment.
As the above-mentioned information and examples suggest, CDC (2016) is a very important body that provides guidance and rules for modern healthcare informatics. The fact that CDC (2016) is concerned with the dissemination of information, in particular, through the publication of its regulations can be viewed as a form of ethical conduct for a body with this level of authority. Apart from that, CDC (2016) produces less formal and more public-oriented papers that help people with limited legal knowledge to interpret regulations and learn about their rights and responsibilities (DHIS, 2016). To sum up, CDC’s (2016) approach to its executive duties appears to be both legally and ethically acceptable.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). CDC’s role in rules and regulations. Web.
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Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance. (2016). Standards and interoperability enterprise services. Web.
Electronic code of federal regulations. (2017). Web.
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. (2015). Federal public health laws supporting data use and sharing. Web.
Title 42: Chapter I: Subchapter A: Part 2. (2017). Web.