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WEEK 6 DISCUSSIONTechnology in healthcare is progressing at a tremendous speed and positively influencing the healthcare industry. The use of technology such as the cellphones, emails, instant messaging through Skype, texts, video conferences, computer monitors, web-based checklists, and computerized patient record system (CPRS), among others, allow healthcare providers and patients to gain access to patients’ information anywhere and anytime. According to one of the videos I watched in this week’s module, “Public health informatics,”some patients use these technologies such as their mobile devices to track their weight, diet, heart rate, blood glucose, and exercise. They also have the option to transfer that information into a more extensive network for a cumulative effect (Laureate Education, 2018). Electronic Health Record (EHR) has changed how data is gathered, stored, and disseminated (HealthIT.gov, 2019). With the inception of EHR in my organization, there is a much-coordinated workflow and collaboration among nurses, patients, and other interdisciplinary teams. Patients are encouraged to install the supportive application even in their mobile devices to access their records through the computerized patient record system (CPRS) portal. The patient portal access allows patient access to their medical records, including appointment times, laboratory results, X-rays, and make a direct appointment with their primary care team. More and more patients are empowered through the use of modern health care technology in sharing of records, health information, and values and goals, which leads to patient’s engagement, knowledge, and involvement in their care (Dykes et al., 2017).Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described.
Although accesses to patients’ records are becoming more manageable, yet there are some potential challenges and risks associated with this technology surge, such as lack of patient education/knowledge and security breaches. Without secured access, exposure to patient’s information becomes a security threat in the form of computer hackers by phishers and scammers. This issue is not only about the patients alone but also the healthcare providers who use computers and handheld devices Mcgonigle & Mastrian, 2018b). Before the enhancement of the security features in my facility as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), some of the employees use unsecured network access in public areas (Harman, Flite, & Bond, 2012). I have also witnessed some of the nurses losing their Vocera phone, which is a security breach. The inability for a facility or an employee to safeguard patient’s information attracts fines and loss of job Mcgonigle & Mastrian, 2018c). As I mentioned above, my facility added more protection by auditing patient’s electronic data regular to deter staff members from viewing patient’s records that are not assigned to them or involved in their care.