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Running head: USE OF HEALTH INFORMATION 1 Appropriate Use of Health Information
USE OF HEALTH INFORMATION 2 Appropriate Use of Health Information To provide the necessary medical treatment and care, healthcare providers need to know at least some of the patients’ health information. Canadians, generally, appreciate that it is difficult to provide high-quality care without timely and secure access to their personal health information (Ipsos Reid, 2012). The patients’ medical records can include some of the most intimate details about a person (Nass, Levit, Gostin, & Institute of Medicine, 2009). Majority of Canadians is comfortable with health care professionals using computers to record and share personal health information (Ipsos Reid, 2012). However, due to the rise of computerized health information systems, electronic health records, databases and registries, privacy has become a matter of increasing concern (Canadian Nurses Association [CNA], 2003). The purpose of this assignment is to gain an understanding of the proper use and access to health information. First of all, I will discuss the importance of protection of the privacy of health information. Then, the legislation governing the security of health information in Alberta will be described. Next, I will reflect on the Alberta Health Services practices in place for the protection of health information. Lastly, I will discuss actions that can be taken by nurses to safeguard patients’ health information. Importance of protection of the privacy of health information The informational privacy is the right of individuals to determine how, when, with whom and for what purposes any of their data will be shared and lists maintaining privacy and confidentiality as one of the primary values of nursing (CNA, 2017). Some see privacy as an essential part of human well-being and believe that respecting privacy and autonomy is a form of recognition of the attributes that give humans their moral uniqueness (Nass et al., 2009). However, the majority value privacy because it facilitates or promotes other fundamental values:
USE OF HEALTH INFORMATION 3 personal autonomy, individuality, respect, dignity, and worth as human beings ( Nass et al., 2009). Respect for privacy is also central to trust in a professional relationship. Privacy is a core value deeply rooted in the nursing profession’s history and traditions (CNA, 2003). Nurses are ethically and legally obligated to maintain a nonjudgmental attitude, be honest, and protect the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality (CNA, 2017). The patients should feel comfortable to disclose information to nurses, or they may withhold or falsify facts relevant to their care (CNA, 2003). Breaches of privacy are not only affecting a person’s dignity and trust but can cause harm.

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