A health information system (HIMS) describes a system designed to manage healthcare data. These systems can all be used in an institution to inform research, enhances patient outcomes, and influence policy-making and decision making (De Groot, 2020). The HIMS I chose for this project is the EHR and EMR. EMR is an internal organizational system, while EHR is an inter-organizational system (Heart et al., 2017). They are used to enhance healthcare quality and contain costs.
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Need to Integrate HIMS
EMR automates and enhances the efficiency of providers’ workflow (Heart et al., 2017). The EMR data allows providers to picture the patients’ conditions throughout the care process (Heart et al., 2017). Providers can identify diseases based on the recorded data and track patients to enable disease prevention and enhance treatment. Moreover, it allows appropriate cost control and enhances physicians’ productivity by enabling the providers to have earlier access to patient data (Heart et al., 2017). The data is cleaned and used to assist clinicians identify patients suffering from related illnesses by analyzing it in the EMR database (Heart et al., 2017).
The PA Patient & Provider Network (P3N) assists healthcare providers in finding their patients’ medical records in real-time from any location at any time (Leventhal, 2018). HSX has made advances in their HIE to ensure high-quality data exchange (Leventhal, 2018). KeyHIE has partnered with CitusTech and Orion Health that enables its Information Delivery System (IDS) to provide alerts, notification and important patient information to its affiliated providers, so they have information on the location and time their clients receive care within the network (Leventhal, 2018). This allows the providers to make informed healthcare decisions.
Impact of These Regulations
The Internal Delivery Service (IDS) allows KeyHIE to structure its delivery service efficiently (Leventhal, 2018). This enables it to read the metadata and move clinical data between its community members easily and fast through the Direct or HL7 message thus saving on time and labour. Automation reduced labor, time and the cost to manage the healthcare data (Leventhal, 2018). HSX enhances the providers’ workflow by ensuring the patient data is made available in the EHR (Leventhal, 2018). It provides a C-CDA of the patients’ longitudinal record back to the EHR and ensures patients’ pie chart is attached to their medical record (Leventhal, 2018). The beachhead reduces the need to create more interfaces, thus increasing value proposition and workflow (Leventhal, 2018).
Solutions to Address These Regulation Challenges
KeyHIE leaders have proposed the need for collaboration with other health information organizations (Leventhal, 2018). This allows for improved patient care and follows up despite the location the patient receives healthcare. Additionally, collaboration between HIE’s allows the organizations to reach a large audience within the community and the state (Leventhal, 2018). This allows the collection of more information and enhances the proper use of the data to improve patient care. Moreover, Regional HIE’s have partnered with various technology firms such as Orion Health and Diameter Health (Leventhal, 2018).
This has allowed increased automation and reduced costs of labor and management. These partnerships assist in the proper management of healthcare data, thus limiting incidences of data breaching or damage.
Privacy and Security Measures
The first measure, continued HIPAA education, equips providers with the updated HIPAA compliance and regulations to accurately protect the healthcare data. It will ensure the healthcare staff are well trained and made aware of the establishment of security and privacy policies. The second measure, the risk mitigation plan, involves the guidelines and methods defined to help the authorized personnel effectively handle the loss or theft of healthcare data.
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The third measure, data protection strategy, enables the healthcare institutions to establish security and ensure the protected health information (PHI) is available to enhance the trust of the providers and patients.
The physical safeguards enable institutions to establish limited control and access to facilities; policies that control the use and access to a workstation and electronic media; and restrictions for transferring, removing, disposing, and re-using e-media and e-PHI (De Groot, 2020). Technical safeguards allow healthcare institutions to have only authorized control and access to e-PHI (De Groot, 2020). This is implemented by user Information Delivery Service (IDS), emergency access procedures, automatic log off and encryption and decryption. Additionally, encouraging auditing reports or tracking logs can record activity on hardware and software. Moreover, covering integrity controls enables the protection of ePHI (De Groot, 2020).
This will require the institutions to comply, maintain and evaluate the HIPAA security controls that have been established, conduct an enhanced accurate risk analysis and provide solutions to improve management (De Groot, 2020). It ensures the administrations adhere to the established national standards to protect patients’ medical records and other personal and health information during electronic transactions (De Groot, 2020).
It requires these institutions to establish the safeguards to allow patients to have the authority over their personal and health information. It requires the professionals to establish appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to enable confidentiality, integrity, and security of electronically protected health information (De Groot, 2020). It also requires providers to evaluate the severity of unauthorized use of the PHI by analyzing if these breach reaches meet HIPAA’s low probability of compromise threshold.
Monitoring Security and Privacy Violations
Physical security involves the employment of security personnel to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing the security control centers and breach in the healthcare institutions and organization administrations (De Groot, 2020). Regularly performing security audits involve auditing reports or tracking logs that record activity on hardware and software (De Groot, 2020). Enhancing breach notification process ensures that the healthcare organization detects unauthorized access to health and medical records or faults that might endanger the EMR and EHR data (De Groot, 2020). Establishing appropriate technical policies help in preventing alteration or destruction of ePHI (De Groot, 2020).
HIMS facilitates efficient and reliable support to healthcare organizations and institutions to plan, manage and make informed decisions appropriate for running their firms. Integration of HIMS on the healthcare institution will facilitate improved healthcare, workflow, reduced costs of operation and management, and improved data quality and handling of healthcare information. The pros of HIMS integration include proper healthcare information handling and management, reduced cost of management and operation, reduced time and cost of operation, and improved workflow. However, challenges such as data breach and competitions inhibit smooth operation.
Therefore, collaboration and partnership with the appropriate stakeholders is essential for proper management and operation of the institutions. Healthcare institutions should encourage the establishment of security measures and formulate an appropriate action plans to ensure reliable security and privacy measures are adopted.
- De Groot, J. (2020). What is HIPAA Compliance? Digital Guardian. Web.
- Heart, T., Ben-Assuli, O., & Shabtai, I. (2017). A review of PHR, EMR and EHR integration: A more personalized healthcare and public health policy. Health Policy and Technology, 6(1), 20–25. Web.
- Leventhal, R. (2018). In Pennsylvania, regional HIEs are working competitively—and collaboratively, Too. Healthcare Innovation. Web.