Wk 10 Response 2 Nursing Technology

Please create a response to my classmate posting that I will list below.

APA format*** 2 paragraphs for the response below***at least 4-5 sentences each paragraph***2 References**

My Classmates posting is below:

On a mental health unit, patient privacy is imperative. Some patients come onto the mental health unit from domestic violence situations or other violent situations where privacy is the utmost important. On any unit, the computers are one of the best ways for others, not privy to information, to find out more about the patients on the units. Hospitals are making progress toward adopting electronic health records, but at the same time, they are increasing the potential for data security breaches (EHR coming on strong, 2011). However, we are always reminded of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security rule, which established national standards for protecting electronic protected health information (Collmer 2016). At each workstation, there are multiple fliers and reminders about HIPAA. For all the computers, we utilize screen protectors which, unless one is looking directly straight at the screen, one cannot see the information on the screen because it is blurred out. There is a safeguard in our electronic charting system that will automatically “time out,” which make sure that even if the nurse forgets to log out, the system will automatically log out after a given time.

Portable Devices

My current facility does not utilize any hand-held devices to convey patient information, but we do use computers/workstations on wheels (COWs/WOWs), which as the name implies, is a computer on wheels that can be rolled from room to room to chart patient information. It remains the responsibility of the nurse to ensure that the patient’s information is secured. The nurse must make sure that he/she logs out of the system anytime that the COW/WOW is not in use or left unattended. The software system that my facility uses for patient charting also has a safeguard on the COW/WOW. After five minutes of idle time, the software system will automatically log the user out and gray the screen so that no patient information can be viewed. As a nurse, we must also make sure that we are not logged into another patient’s information while in a different patient’s room, we must always check that no one is looking over our shoulder at protected patient information, and ensure that only those providing care for the patient have access to said information. Another complicated issue regarding protecting patient information is the use of mobile devices by healthcare professionals (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Some of our physicians will use their cellular devices to communicate with one another regarding consults on patients. Sometimes using the phones in a room with a patient can be seen as an invasion of privacy. When working with psychiatric patients, some can be paranoid and think that private information is being shared.

Strategies Used by Hospital to Safeguard

There are multiple strategies and policies in effect at my facility to protect patient information. One is within our necessary yearly competencies as it regards HIPAA. The most important strategy in effect at my facility is to mentor others regarding the safety of patient information and proper use of our equipment in the department that correlates with the patient’s electronic health record. For instance, if we see a coworker step away from a COW/WOW while still being logged in and the screen unprotected, then as a co-worker, we either put down the screen protector or log the individual out of the system and notify that person or our supervisor. It is not a method to get that individual in trouble but to maybe encourage a refresher course or even just a friendly reminder to protect the individual and the facility from breaching patient privacy. This helps to promote a culture of safety by showing the cohesiveness of the staff along with minimizing risks that patient’s information could be leaked. Last year the facility had a break of security in which various patient information was looked at. This caused a major issue as many patients were worried that their personal information, including insurance and social security numbers, were able to be seen. The hospital did a good job in making sure to alert all patients and hospital staff of the breach. This could be detrimental to any service as a data breach can cost a hospital about $2 million in remediation and legal liability (“EHR coming on strong,” 2011). However, improvement is still needed, more safeguards must be in check to make sure that a security breach doesn’t happen again.

Area of Improvement

One of the ways the hospital could make sure to protect patient information is by having the “tap-and-go” system. With this system, we have a chip inserted into our identification cards that allow us to tap into a computer and then tap out when done. This is especially helpful on a psychiatric unit where sometimes an issue can arise quickly. The system allows me to tap out quickly to diffuse any situation. This system can help safeguard any information on a computer. I also like the system because anything that was pulled up is saved for when the staff member returns to that computer.


Collmer, V. (2016). 7 steps: To protecting the security of electronic protected health information. OT Practice, 21(14), 7-11. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/…

EHR coming on strong, but so are security risks. (2011). Healthcare Risk Management, 33(3), 32-34.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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