What is technology? Technology is anything that makes lives faster and more accessible like laptops, tablets, smartphones and much more. Technology is an object which is the enormous piece of our typical, usual lives and we all have adapted it in our everyday lives be it at school, at work, at home or anywhere you can think of. It is helpful in countless different ways because it makes life easier for working people and students as well. It helps us handle assignment that is needed to be done in an appropriate amount of time. As Newton said, “For every action, there is an opposite reaction.” For sure, technology has a positive influence in our society, but at the same time, it has a negative impact on people’s lives if not used wisely. In this paper, I will be discussing secure approach we can do while using a smartphone in healthcare field which will be beneficial for both healthcare workers and patients and also how technology cause an obstacle in healthcare workers life if it is not used wisely.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the law which was issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It is defined as “…. addressing the need for standards to regulate and safeguard health information and making provisions for health insurance coverage for employed persons who change jobs” (McG 15). HIPAA has two significant section: one for the health care providers and another one for the patient. Healthcare workers should be educated about HIPAA. They should teach about privacy arguments to protect patient confidentiality and safety. The purpose of the patient section is that it will give them more control over their health information and healthcare worker must protect their data. HIPAA’s overall goal is to take care of patient’s information and for some reason if that info is out in public than legal action will be taken to that hospital or healthcare worker.
I decided to go with the scenario number 4 which is nurse coworker emailed her the next morning telling her about HIPAA violation which involves a celebrity patient. Taking a picture of unconscious celebrity patient without his approval and sending to the friend and then later was leaked to Gossip Gazette; legal action might be taken against the nurse and the hospital. If I were in her place, then I would have started freaking out. I started looking for my phone to my friend, but I couldn’t find it. I check my handbag and notice it’s missing. I began to recall where I used it last but I can’t because I am worried about things that are yet to come. I looked everywhere in my house, but I couldn’t find it. I thought probably somebody from work leaked the picture. I should have never taken pictures and sent to my friend. It’s my fault that legal action will be taken to my hospital and me.
In the healthcare system without any doubt technology is necessary for the people’s health. The advantage of using smartphone would be capable of healthcare workers. Nowadays many hospitals assigned phones to nurses and healthcare provider which makes it easier to communicate with them. This is very beneficial since all nurses don’t have to walk back to nurse station from patient’s room, again and again, to check the computer for any doctor updates or check emails. For example, my previous clinical rotation each nurse carried the phone with them, so they can quickly assess their patient reports such as lab work, discharge order, medication changes, PA or OT orders. “….providers (especially nurses) can not only directly share the most reliable and relevant information and resources with patients…”(Weaver 2012). Besides, if any nurses mistreat their phones than hospital might know because they keep track of each and every phone’s data. It is good for online education for both patient and health-care workers. Another advantage of the smartphone is networking. Mostly, in hospital, there are plenty of fundraisers, blood drives, job fairs, nutrient semester, diabetes sessions, and much more. All this are beneficial for patients and healthcare workers. Everything is up to date on social media which save time and saves paper.
On another hand, positive factors come with the negative aspect of social media and smartphones. First and foremost, it can violate HIPAA. “…there are many ways people could potentially get access to one’s information if anyone in the hospital takes pictures, texting to other people about patient’s information or any other individual could potentially tap into any hospital employee phone” according to the Top 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Technology in Hospitals (2013). Most nurses post pictures on Facebook of patients or share the patient chart with their friends who violate the law just like the nurse in the scenario. In the situation, the nurse took pictures and shared it with her friend which can cause her nursing license to get suspended. It damages our profession image. Another disadvantage is getting distractions. While taking care of the patients, we need to make sure we give our complete attention to the patients. As a healthcare provider, we need to keep our personal life separate from our work life because both don’t do well together. One of the research mentions that technology especially smartphone affect our performances. It reduces our focus making us perform poorly in tasks and decision making. (Gill 2015).
To conclude, technology is a huge part of your everyday lives whether it is smartphones, laptops, tablets, iPad. It is very much beneficial in health-care filed because it makes everything more comfortable and we can get through our daily tasks in no time. But with all the right things about technology, also brings terrible impact on our society. If we are taking care of the patients, we need to give all our attention to them rather than getting distracted. Once we get distracted, we start making medical errors. We can chart something wrong; we can give wrong medication to wrong patients or ever falls. We have to respect patient privacy rather than taking pictures or sharing information about patients to your friends or putting on Facebook. Everyone in this world should be treated equally with respect whether it is a homeless person or some celebrity.
Gill, P. S., Kamath, A., & Gill, T. S. (2012). Distraction: an assessment of smartphone usage in
health care work settings. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437811/
HIPAA — the health insurance portability and accountability act: what RNs need to know about
privacy rules and protected electronic health information. (2011). National Nurse, 107(6), 20-27.
McGonigle, D. (2015). Nursing Informatics And The Foundation Of Knowledge, 3rd Edition. VitalSource Bookshelf Online. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com
Top 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Technology in Hospitals. (2013, April 30).
Retrieved January 21, 2018, from
Weaver, Besty. “Communication Technology and Social Media: Opportunities and Implications for
Healthcare Systems.” Communication Technology and Social Media: Opportunities and Implications for Healthcare Systems, 2012, www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-17-2012/No3-Sept-2012/Communication-Technology-Social-Media.html?utm_source=direct.