The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), which has been implemented for seven years now, is an important legal step in improving nursing and patient care in the United States. According to this Act, nursing facilities have been functioning with greater transparency in recent years due to a standardized ethics program (2010).
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This regulation is maintained by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, which regularly publishes information on standardized staffing data, the improvement of staff training, and the monitoring of staff via an independent nationwide monitoring program. In addition to increasing patient care regulations, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 focuses on expanding the use of health information technologies to “improve patient safety, reduce medical errors, and ensure patient-centered care delivery” (White, 2015, p. 4).
The Act of 2010 has encouraged the nursing workforce to use health IT tools to measure healthcare delivery performance and monitor patients’ overall experience with the aim of reducing healthcare costs and improving patients’ health (White, 2015).
Some of the new technologies that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 implements include electronic health records, registries for specific diseases and procedures, and decision support systems. While it is unlikely that these new technologies are linked to ethical dilemmas in delivering care to patients, it seems that using these technologies does not automatically improve the quality of care (White, 2015). It is vital that nurses learn how to use these tools first. Therefore, while the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 provides a series of beneficial regulations for the primary care of patients in hospitals, these regulations require extra training of staff before they take effect.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, 111 U.S.C. §§ 119-1025 (2010).
White, P. (2015). Using Health Information Technology to Support Quality Improvement in Primary Care. Web.