A closer look at the use of social media in ...

In the world today, smartphones are becoming the “norm”, with standard phones becoming nearly out of date in recent years. Integrating the overpowering presence of social media with all the rise in usage of smartphones brings to light an entirely new pair of problems and challenges concerning patient personal privacy. According into a 2010 examine conducted regarding various planks of nursing jobs, 67% of executive representatives surveyed reported receiving complaints about nurses misusing social media (Spector & Kappel, 2012). In addition, social media utilization in healthcare has garnered a large number of positive results as well.

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One study discovered that 67% of doctors use social media for specialist use, associated with their supporters, 60% of social media users trust blogposts by their doctors and 55% of users trust posts by clinics (Skram, d. d. ). However , problem remains, with social media will the good surpass the bad, and exactly how do private hospitals foster the good while impeding the bad?

HIPAA Regulations

Due to the sensitive mother nature of the details kept simply by healthcare providers about their individuals, principles had been put in place to lessen the risk of breeching patient personal privacy.

The Insurance Moveability and Liability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) set national standards and regulations about the protection of patients’ level of privacy and personal health information (U. S i9000. Department of Health and Individual Services [HHS], in. d. ). Under The Personal privacy Rule passed by HIPAA, protection is governed over-all,  ‘Individually identifiable health information’ [which] is usually information, which include demographic info, that pertains to: the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental well being or condition, the supply of healthcare to the specific, or the previous, present, or future repayment for the provision of health care to the specific, and that pinpoints the individual or for which there exists a reasonable basis to believe you can use it to identify the individual. (HHS, n. d., s. 2).

You will discover instances outlined in HIPAA that permit a healthcare provider to disclose a patient’s personal health information which include disclosing information to the individual receiving treatment, information for treatment, payment, or healthcare procedures, and details for uses and disclosures with possibility to agree or perhaps object, including in cases in which a patient is incapacitated inside the emergency office (HHS, d. d. ). Also, disclosure is acceptable for incidental use and disclosure and in a limited data set in which usually all personal identifiers have already been removed (HHS, n. d. ).

Furthermore, personal information about health may be disclosed for open public interest and benefit actions such as these required by law, those to make sure safety of victims of abuse, information for decedents, information for tissue donation, information pertaining to research studies, if there is a serious threat to well being or culture, and in situations of workers’ compensation (HHS, n. deb. ). If perhaps health information can be released in d�sunion with the rules set forth simply by HIPAA, legal action, both civilly and criminally, could be taken up against the individual dependable as well as the healthcare organization with which the individual is definitely involved.

Advantages of Smartphones and Social Media in Healthcare

Mobile phones in the healthcare setting can be very useful both for sufferers and providers. One advantage of smartphones inside the healthcare environment is the overwhelming presence of medical applications that can be accessed and downloaded on cell phones (Wyatt & Krauskopf, 2012). Nurses, medical doctors, and other medical experts can quickly access a host of medical reference material from their mobile phones. Several applications are also available that are useful for patients, providing information about long-term conditions, overall health, and health (Wyatt & Krauskopf, 2012). Many applications such as MyFitnessPal and iFitness™ are focused on help persons keep track of dietary intake and exercise patterns (Wyatt & Krauskopf, 2012). This can be extremely useful for persons wanting to produce lifestyle changes regarding nutrition and fitness, in particular those aiming to shed pounds and become more healthy overall.

Furthermore, social media can be extremely beneficial to patients suffering from long-term conditions as well as their family and friends (Norton & Strauss, 2013). For exceptional diseases local community support groups may not be available. Social networking steps in to fill this void by providing users numerous various online organizations, blogs, ezines, and networks. Individuals may use such methods to reach out in front of large audiences with similar issues, get much needed support during tough times, and be aware of treatments and medicines that proved helpful for others using their same disease that may fast them to speak to their doctor about various other possibilities in treatment options. When used effectively, smartphones and social media can be quite beneficial to healthcare providers and patients.

Cons of Cell phones and Social websites in Health care

Unfortunately, together with the good need to come the bad. For every positive aspect of smartphones and social networking in healthcare related settings, there is an equally negative point. One mistake of mobile phones in healthcare is straight related to one of the positive aspects of smartphones: the availability of medical applications. Even though the majority of medical applications will be produced by trusted sources with accurate, searched information, you may still find medical applications in existence that supply untrustworthy and erroneous data. Gagglioi (2012) observes that, “[medical] applications have not recently been subject to thorough testing” (p. 512) the reason behind which becoming, “that most of these apps reach consumers/patients immediately, without passing through the traditional medical gatekeepers” (p. 512). The moment patients foundation future surgery on these kinds of erroneous applications, such as searching for treatment or perhaps using home remedies, there can easily result dangerous and even perilous consequences.

One other undesirable feature of smart phone usage in healthcare adjustments is the tendency of cell phones to be distracting (Gill, Kamath, & Gill, 2012). Smartphone usage may cause a disruption in workflow which will lead to medical errors and negligence. Research in Australia located that of 439 perfusionists surveyed, 49. 2% admitted that they had delivered text messages when performing a cardiopulmonary circumvent (Gill, Kamath, & Gill, 2012). The

disturbance in thorough attention to sufferer care due to smartphones can display contamination, disease, and health risks and also impeding the ability of the doctor to recognize potential complications or downward trends in their patients (Gill, Kamath, & Gill, 2012). In healthcare, possibly momentary distraction can lead to perilous consequences.

Last but not least, a huge problem concerning smartphones in healthcare related settings involves the application of cameras and social media. While seen in the scenario offered, the health professional on duty abused her touch screen phone and violated HIPAA by simply sending photos of her patient to her friend through text message. Privacy is extremely important in healthcare mainly because patients are less apt to reveal important information while using provider in the event that they dread that the info could be unveiled or disseminated without agreement (Spector & Kappel, 2012). Sharing photographs of a sufferer or any data regarding a patient without share written agreement is a direct violation of HIPAA polices and is for that reason subject to the effects set forth.

Considering that the nurse available knowingly broken HIPAA by simply sending photos to her good friend via text, she ought to be investigated and penalized. As mentioned above, in a study conducted of boards of nursing, 67% of business owners have came across complaints about nursing staff regarding social networking (Spector & Kappel, 2012). Of those selected, all 67% who had issues took disciplinary action against the responsible get together (Spector & Kappel, 2012). Based on the precedent emerge the previous study, the hospital should discipline the nurse in the scenario for her inappropriate patterns. Furthermore, the hospital has a legal obligation established by national law challenging that disciplinary action be used when the supervision becomes conscious of a staff affiliate violating HIPAA policy.

Realization and Suggestions

Based on the info presented regarding HIPAA regulations, the fourth conclusion is the just choice capable of being deemed because ethically and legally appropriate. The fourth bottom line involves an extensive investigation into the HIPAA breach by the hospital, and the inference of legal action becoming pursued against the responsible party and the hospital. For her unacceptable behavior, the nurse at the very least should incur a formal investigation and write-up and also suspension coming from her duties.

The nurse violated HIPAA by showing individually recognizable health information (HHS, n. d. ). Lawfully, in the case of a violation in which the perpetrator was unknowing and would not have got known possibly by exercising reasonable homework, the result ranges by a hundred buck to 50 dollars, 000 excellent for each breach, with a maximum fine of $1. 5 million for identical procedures within a calendar year (“Penalties intended for violating HIPAA”, 2014). However , in the case of the nurse in the scenario, meant to have widely learned the encompassment of HIPAA infractions previously, the nurse likely would not be regarded as to be unknowing which could therefore lead to more severe consequences.

Furthermore, the nurse violated the Code of Ethics for Nurses by breaking her person’s right to privacy. The registered nurse violated Dotacion 1 set forth by the Code stating, “The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion plus the respect pertaining to the inherent dignity, really worth, and uniqueness of every individual” (Fowler, 2010). More specifically, the lady violated Section 1 of Provision you regarding value for individual dignity (Fowler, 2010). The nurse as well violated Supply 3 from the Code of Ethics which in turn states, “The nurse promotes, advocates for, and aims to protect the, safety, and rights with the patient” (Fowler, 2010).

Section 1 of Provision several regards privacy and Section 2 of Provision a few regards privacy, both of that the nurse dishonored by sending a picture of her affected person without his knowledge (Fowler, 2010). The nurse in the scenario not on violated the law with regards to HIPAA, in addition, she violated the Code of Ethics to get Nurses established by the American Nurses Affiliation. In all respects, what the health professional did was ethically, morally, and legitimately wrong.

A whole lot can be discovered from this task. It is obvious that the make use of smartphones and social media needs to be monitored properly by healthcare professionals and other health-related professionals. Any impropriety in patient level of privacy with mobile phones or social websites can become popular and far-reaching in a matter of minutes. What appears small at the moment can turn into a huge ordeal involving investigations, legal implications, fines, and civil legal cases. For that reason it truly is of the greatest importance to get diligent in considering patient level of privacy and HIPAA before any kind of post built to social media or any text message dispatched.


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