Electronic Medical Record Ethical Issues

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Despite the present and potential benefits associated with the adoption and implementation of electronic medical records (EMR) in the United States, stakeholders have raised various ethical issues that threaten the benefits unless there are proper intervention measures in place (Layman, 2008). Some of the common ethical issues in the health discourse include but not limited to loss of privacy and confidentiality, data security, decision support, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, cost of EHR/EMRs, period of storing patient’s information, and fate of previous data on paperwork (Ozair et al., 2015; Layman, 2008). Each ethical concern is important but others are more urgent and critical compared to others. Therefore, this essay…show more content…
This includes installing firewalls, anti-spyware, antivirus, online shields, passwords, and regular updates of the information system (Harries & Yellowlees, 2013). Security measures such as firewalls, anti-spyware, antivirus, and online shields allow healthcare organizations to prevent remote or external access by hackers and identity thieves (Harries & Yellowlees, 2013). Besides, these security measures prevent malicious damage or modification of personal health information. In addition, passwords ensure that there is authorized and traceable access taking place from within the organization (Harries & Yellowlees, 2013). For example, all employees have passwords that allow the information systems personnel to trace internal access whenever there is any concern of data breach. Besides installation of these security measures to protect personal health information from unauthorized access, it helps the health organization to secure its business data. Accordingly, patients gain confidence in the health sector knowing that their personal health information is always safe. Nonetheless, it helps the federal and state governments prevent fraud and corruption practices that drain tax dollars from various medical schemes in the country (Hill, Hunter, Johnson, & Coustasse,…show more content…
Electronic medical records have great promises to the American healthcare system based on increased efficiency, improved quality, reduced costs, lower readmission rates, and fewer illnesses among others. However, these systems collect and store personal information of patients as well as their medical histories over long periods. The information is sensitive and equally useful for many people and organizations including insurance companies, financial companies, fraudsters, identity thieves, and criminal thieves among others. Unauthorized access of the personal information or medical histories to these parties poses great risks to the health, life, and welfare of patients. Therefore, health organizations and practitioners should guarantee the privacy, confidentiality, and security of personal health information through compliance with HIPAA as well as installation of cyber security measures to deter unauthorized access, modification, damage, or distribution of patients
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