The development of the informatics specialization in the contemporary nursing environment has improved information management besides raising ethical concerns. The ethical concerns undermine the realization of a streamlined nexus between information technology (IT) and communication in the delivery of standard healthcare services (Coorevits et al., 2013).
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For this reason, upholding the informatics ethical principles is a key consideration in the nursing field. Therefore, this paper seeks to carry out an assessment of the various ethical principles applicable to nursing and non-nursing organizations before identifying the advantages and disadvantages in each case. Further, a consideration of the ethical issues that influence health informatics before assessing the role of the nursing administrator regarding the emerging ethical issues in informatics.
A Comparison of Ethical Principles in the Nursing and Non-Nursing Organizations
Informatics bases its functionality on the fundamental moral principles that focus on the aspects of autonomy, beneficence, equality and justice, non-malfeasance, impossibility, and integrity. Thus, both nursing and non-nursing organizations use the fundamental ethical principles to foster the management of IT and communication. Thus, amid the different approaches, both contexts seek the observance of ethical standards in the management of information technology and communication processes (Nelson & Staggers, 2014).
Notably, both nursing and non-nursing organizations uphold similar informatics ethical principles as the former incorporates openness, security, legitimate infringement, least intrusive alternative, accountability, and privacy. Non-nursing organizations apply informatics ethical principles including appropriate functionality inclusion, openness, accessibility, timeliness, accuracy, trustworthiness, compliance with legislations, user-friendliness, reliability, security, performance, integrity, flexibility, performance, standardization, and effectiveness. The applicable principles depict shared informatics ethical principles as seen in the aspects of openness, security, integrity, and accessibility (Sewell & Thede, 2013).
However, non-nursing organizations manage their informatics by considering comprehensive ethical principles compared to nursing organizations. Thus, non-nursing settings realize greater ethical practices concerning informatics. As such, corporate organizations have an upper hand in evaluating the informatics systems and designing and executing new ones besides identifying the best practice solutions to IT issues (Nelson & Staggers, 2014).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Nursing and Non-Nursing Informatics Ethical Principles
The benefits of nursing informatics ethical principles include the provision of ethical guidance to health experts, foster the respect for the rights of others, promote the delivery of patient safety and quality service delivery, and bolstering integrity. Similarly, the merits of informatics ethical principles in non-nursing organizations include streamlined information management, effective decision-making, protection of the rights of stakeholders, and streamlining communication (Heinrich & Riedl, 2013).
The disadvantage of informatics ethical principles in nursing entails the reliance on IT to make decisions that require prompt reactions owing to ethical concerns, disregard of some principles such as confidentiality in critical situations, and security issues (Lorenzi & Riley, 2013). The demerits of the informatics ethical principles in the non-nursing settings include operational difficulty and constant innovation in the IT sector that requires the organization to adapt accordingly on a regular basis (Heinrich & Riedl, 2013).
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Informatics Ethical Issues
The emerging ethical issues in informatics include failure of the mass media to observe the fundamental ethical principles of confidentiality and privacy when reporting and poor designing of the informatics systems that fail to incorporate the entire ethical principles (Lorenzi & Riley, 2013). The issues of confidentiality and privacy arise when the mass media broadcasts sensitive health information to the public without the consent of the concerned parties (Fairfield & Shtein, 2014). Therefore, addressing the issue besides incorporating the entire aspects of the informatics ethical principles in the systems is crucial.
The Role of the Nursing Administrator
The feature of informatics gets influenced considerably by the nursing administrator. The administrator plays the role of ensuring the efficient integration of the informatics systems in the healthcare setting by underscoring the significance of observing the associated ethical principles. In doing so, they undermine the prevalence of issues such as the breach of the principles of confidentiality and privacy.
The efficiency of informatics in nursing and non-nursing organizations considers the observance of ethical principles in a way that demonstrates similarities and differences. However, emerging ethical issues such as the failure to integrate ethical standards prompts nursing administrators to assume their roles in reinforcing the functionality of informatics in healthcare provision.
Coorevits, P., Sundgren, M., Klein, G. O., Bahr, A., Claerhout, B., Daniel, C.,…De Moor, G. (2013). Electronic health records: new opportunities for clinical research. Journal of Internal Medicine, 274(6), 547-560.
Fairfield, J., & Shtein, H. (2014). Big data, big problems: Emerging issues in the ethics of data science and journalism. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 29(1), 38-51.
Heinrich, J., & Riedl, R. (2013). Understanding the dominance and advocacy of the design-oriented research approach in the business informatics community: a history-based examination. Journal of Information Technology, 28(1), 34-49.
Lorenzi, M., & Riley, T. (2013). Organizational aspects of health informatics: managing technological change. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.
Nelson, R., & Staggers, N. (2014). Health informatics: An interprofessional approach. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Sewell, P., & Thede, L. (2013). Informatics and nursing. Independence, KY: Wolters Kluwer.