When choosing the ethical perspective for the analysis of its options, the Trinity Hospital can decide to be guided by appropriate codes of ethics, which are produced by international or national organizations that specialize in healthcare informatics and medical information management. An example of such code is that by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), which is particularly appropriate from the point of view of HIPAA.
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Indeed, apart from being adjusted to the US context, the AMIA Code is explicitly aligned with the privacy laws of the US (Goodman et al., 2013). In other words, it directly incorporates the issues covered by HIPAA and refers to the Act.
It is also noteworthy that the Code promotes the compliance with HIPAA’s privacy rule, especially the administrative safeguards as described by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2013). In fact, the second part of the key ethical guidelines as described by Goodman et al. (2013) directly promotes the dissemination of policies, procedures, and knowledge related to the ethical and legally appropriate management of patient information.
Similarly, the third and fourth parts of the guidelines include the promotion of the knowledge of the legal obligations of healthcare professionals and organizations, which can be viewed as another form of ensuring the compliance of healthcare workers with HIPAA through administrative measures and training. Moreover, the fifth part of the guidelines promotes the professional’s awareness of technical limitations, which can be viewed as the promotion of the technical safeguard awareness.
Thus, the AMIA Code demonstrates certain alignment with HIPAA and promotes the application of some of its requirements, including the use of technical and, to a greater extent, administrative safeguards. Therefore, when searching for an ethical standard for its informaticians and other specialists who deal with the HIPAA compliance, the Trinity Hospital can employ the AMIA Code along with other similar guidelines.
Goodman, K., Adams, S., Berner, E., Embi, P., Hsiung, R., & Hurdle, J., … Winkelstein, P. (2013). AMIA’s Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(1), 141-143. Web.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2013). Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Web.
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