NURS 8210:Week 5: Nursing and Health Informatics Ethics and the Law

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NURS 8210:Week 5: Nursing and Health Informatics Ethics and the Law Essay Assignment Paper

NURS 8210: Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology | Week 5

Even the most technologically adept organizations are susceptible to security breaches. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is an industry leader, known for both its Telehealth system and electronic health records (EHR). As a government entity, the VA has publicly reported unintended security failures. To date, the VA has categorized the following breaches: lost and stolen laptops, employee errors in information sharing, e-mails to the wrong account holders, hackers breaking into databases, and even acts of malicious employees. Despite the VA and other health care organizations’ preventive measures, ethical and legal breaches still pose a very real danger to patients.

This week introduces the need for constant diligence when working with patient information. Through this lens, you examine the ethical codes and laws that govern today’s use of health information technologies.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze an ethical issue related to HIT that has the potential to create a liability
  • Formulate strategies for addressing ethical use of health information technology systems
  • Summarize the legal, financial, and ethical issues that may arise as a result of meaningful use legislation

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Course Text: American Nurses Association. (2008). Nursing informatics: Scope and standards of practice. Silver Spring, MD: Author.

  • “Ethics in Nursing Informatics” (p. 49-52)


This page of the text introduces three common ethical codes used in health care today.

Croll, P. (2010). Privacy, security and access with sensitive health information. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 151, 167-175.


The author proposes a model for controlling the security of health information networks and systems.

Hjort, B. (2007). AHIMA report addresses evolving role of health care privacy and security officers. Journal of Health Care Compliance, 9(3), 47-68.


This article identifies the challenges and responsibilities of health care workers employed in privacy and security positions.

Layman, E. J. (2008). Ethical issues and the electronic health record. The Health Care Manager, 27(2), 165-176.


The findings within this article provide recommendations for health personnel, leaders, and policy makers when attempting to design ethically sound electronic health records.

Mackenzie, G., & Carter, H. (2010). Medico legal issues. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 151, 176-182.


Within this article, the authors provide an overview of the legal issues, precautions, and potential breaches that surround the privacy and security of electronic patient records

O’Keefe-McCarthy, S. (2009). Technologically-mediated nursing care: The impact on moral agency. Nursing Ethics, 16(6), 786-796.


Examine technology’s ability to negatively affect the patient/nurse relationship as decisions are based more on data and less on emotional and pedagogical reasoning by referencing the material found in this article.

Withrow, S. C. (2010). How to avoid a HIPAA horror story. Healthcare Financial Management, 64(8), 82-88.


The HIPAA horror story that is detailed here underlines the importance of adopting HIPAA privacy and security provisions in efforts to reduce potential violations and financial threats.

California HealthCare Foundation. (2011).

The California HealthCare Foundation outlines quality reform plans that improve efficiency and reduce cost for California’s patients.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2010). CMS EHR meaningful use overview.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines the term meaningful use and also its view of meaningful use criteria, requirements, and financial impact.

American Nurses Association. (2011). Ethics and human rights.

See this website to view position statement documents developed by the ANA to promote adherence to ethics and human rights.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems. (2011). Privacy & security toolkit.

At this website you will find a categorized tool kit that consists of implementation plans, legislation, and case studies to help health care professionals better understand matters of privacy and security.

The American Medical Informatics Association. (2014). Retrieved from

At this website you will find a American Medical Informatics Code of Ethics for Healthcare Professionals. The current code is accessible below.

Petersen, C., Berner, E. S., Embi, P. J., Hollis, K. F., Goodman, K. W., Koppel, R., …Winkelstein, P. (2018). AMAI’s code of professional and ethical coduct 2018. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(11), 1579–1582.

AMIA’s Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct 2018 by Petersen, C., Berner, E. S., Embi, P. J., Hollis, K. F., Goodman, K. W., Koppel, R., ..Winkelstein, P., in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Vol. 25/Issue 11. Copyright 2018 by Hanley & Belfus, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Hanley & Belfus, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011). Transforming nursing and healthcare through technology: Healthcare informatics: Ethics and law. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 10 minutes.

In this week’s media presentation, Dr. Don Detmer gives his insights on the government’s initiatives to create secure and meaningful electronic health records.

Post your responses to the Discussion based on the course requirements.

Your Discussion postings should be written in standard edited English and follow APA guidelines as closely as possible given the constraints of the online platform. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students to ensure your in-text citations and reference list are correct. Initial postings must be 250–350 words (not including references).

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