Healthcare facilities handle many patients with various diseases necessitating the process’s formality. Unfortunately, the central city hospital allows many operations to be done “informally” despite being in a close-knit community where everyone knows each community member. The hospital is still using the old school information sharing where everyone can access a patient’s data if they want to. The world is changing, and patients are becoming highly concerned about the security and confidentiality of their information. Moreover, hospitals are fighting to be accredited by the joint commission to ensure their success. The report articulates HIPAA information regarding accreditation, healthcare licensing, patient privacy, safety and risk assessment.
The Joint Commission Accreditation (JCA) strengthens communities’ and patients’ confidence in a medical facility. Most communities believe that Joint Commission Accredited hospitals provide the highest quality of services. In a competitive healthcare market, accreditation offers a marketing advantage. Additionally, JCA increases risk reduction and risk management. The standards of the Joint Commission focus on improvement strategies of state-of-the-art performance that facilitate medical facilities to continuously make better the quality and safety of care, reducing the risk of errors. The JC surveyors are experienced medical professionals trained to provide education services and expert advice during the on-site survey. Since the JC surveyors come from diverse medical industries, they provide intensive customized reviews relevant to the industry. Therefore, Central City hospital should work much harder to improve its processes to be accredited.
Licensing and accreditation are two contrasting terms commonly used in the healthcare sector. In the healthcare industry, licensing is the process of issuing licenses that give authority to the medical professional to work in their specific role. A medical practitioner has to meet the predetermined criteria set by the official government licensing agency to receive the license. The license allows patients and fellow health care workers to understand that an individual has the prerequisite knowledge to perform the profession’s duties. An independent professional organization offers accreditation acknowledging that a medical facility has met or surpassed its standards. Accreditation ensures that healthcare organizations can cope with the predetermined industry standards. Arguably, accreditation is for the good of a healthcare facility, while a license is for the good of individual healthcare professionals.
The three important factors in the healthcare setting are confidentiality, privacy and security. Confidentiality is the legal obligation of a healthcare worker to keep all the patient’s medical information confidential. The HIPAA laws demand that healthcare professionals keep patients’ medical information all the time and not disclose the data to unauthorized people, and the data must not be compromised. Privacy is the patient’s individual decision to safeguard personal data. The HIPAA rules give patients the right to share or withhold personal medical information, and healthcare providers must respect the decision (Savage & Savage, 2020). Ultimately, security involves protecting the patient’s private information within healthcare organizations. In the end, confidentiality, privacy and security ensure that patient’s medical records are protected under all circumstances at all times.
Protected Health Information (PHI) is crucial as it details all the necessary information regarding a patient’s medical history and financial insurance. PHI contains a patient’s past, present, and future medical health records and the provision of any healthcare. Additionally, PHI contains a patient’s insurance details about the payment for health services offered. It contains other information that can be used to trace a patient’s medical information while unconscious, such as names, telephone numbers, geographic data, email addresses, and account numbers. The major function of the HIPAA privacy rule is to allow a covered identity to disclose and use PHI for treatment, payment, and healthcare operation purposes without the patient’s authority. Unfortunately, healthcare providers are not required to use a covered identity, but they are permitted.
When patients are certain of the privacy of their medical information, they often trust the healthcare provider. The treatment process is consultation. Medical consultants ask patients many confidential questions before prescribing any drug. However, a healthcare professional must create a friendly environment to ensure that patients do not withhold medical information. As a result, the certainty of privacy among patients preserves the doctor’s reputation. A medical facility where privacy is paramount attracts more patients resulting in high profits from the services provided. Privacy promotes effective communication between patients and physicians, which is useful for quality care (Dhanvijay & Patil, 2019). Ultimately, while privacy enhances patients’ autonomy, it prevents stigma, discrimination, economic harm and embarrassment.
Applying ethics and ethical behaviours in a healthcare environment is crucial since patients’ health and well-being highly depend on the ethical decisions made by healthcare providers. Healthcare ethics entails values, rules and regulations established to regulate the attitudes and behaviours of healthcare stakeholders. Physicians should be fair while providing services to patients. Equity and fairness are ethical behaviours that attract more clients to a healthcare facility. Similarly, medical practitioners should be very transparent with their patients. For instance, some patients suffer fatal diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS and the failure to disclose such diseases earlier can lead to early mortality. Being transparent with a patient increases trust and faith among patients. Another ethical behaviour in the healthcare industry is friendliness. People visiting medical facilities are from different backgrounds and also have unique personalities. Therefore, a physician’s friendliness will determine whether a patient shares or withholds sensitive medical information.
Risk management involves the identification, evaluation and prioritization of risks across the entire ecosystem of a health facility. Healthcare risk management affects everything, including compliance to operations, patient safety, human resource and operating margins. Other components of risk management in healthcare entail claim management, insurance, enterprise risk management, provider quality management and third-party risk management. Risk management establishes consistency. According to Babu et al. 2022, healthcare risk managers can easily visualize risks and their interconnections, analyze the data, and gain actionable insights from people who can make a difference. Risk management also improves the quality of patient care. The current advanced technology allows all patient-related data to be consolidated in one place and accessible to all stakeholders. Healthcare industries can become more proactive in risk management with the right processes, systems and staff.
Conclusively, the report articulates HIPAA information regarding accreditation, healthcare licensing, patient privacy, safety and risk assessment. The Joint Commission accreditation increases patients’ confidence and trust in a healthcare facility. While licensing gives authority to a professional health worker to offer services, accreditation offers an entire healthcare organization the authority to offer standard services to clients. Confidentiality, privacy and security ensure the protection of patients’ data at all times. Some ethical behaviours in healthcare settings include transparency, equity and fairness. In the end, all health care facilities require risk managers to identify, evaluate, prioritize and mitigate risks.
Babu, G. S., Anbu, S., Kapilavani, R. K., Balakumar, P., & Senthilkumar, S. R. (2022, May). Development of cyber security and privacy by precision decentralized actionable threat and risk management for mobile communication using the Internet of Things (IoT). In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 2393, No. 1, p. 020130). AIP Publishing LLC.
Dhanvijay, M. M., & Patil, S. C. (2019). Internet of things: A survey of enabling technologies in healthcare and its applications. Computer Networks, 153, 113-131.
Savage, M., & Savage, L. C. (2020). Doctors routinely share health data electronically under HIPAA, and sharing with patients and patients’ third-party health apps is consistent: Interoperability and privacy analysis. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(9), e19818.