Health professionals today are increasingly accountable for the use of protected health information (PHI). Various government and regulatory agencies promote and support privacy and security through a variety of activities. Examples include:
Technological advances, such as the use of social media platforms and applications for patient progress tracking and communication, have provided more access to health information and improved communication between care providers and patients.
At the same time, advances such as these have resulted in more risk for protecting PHI. Nurses typically receive annual training on protecting patient information in their everyday practice. This training usually emphasizes privacy, security, and confidentiality best practices such as:
Today, one of the major risks associated with privacy and confidentiality of patient identity and data relates to social media. Many nurses and other health care providers place themselves at risk when they use social media or other electronic communication systems inappropriately. For example, a Texas nurse was recently terminated for posting patient vaccination information on Facebook. In another case, a New York nurse was terminated for posting an insensitive emergency department photo on her Instagram account.
Health care providers today must develop their skills in mitigating risks to their patients and themselves related to patient information. At the same time, they need to be able distinguish between effective and ineffective uses of social media in health care.
This assessment will require you to develop a staff update for the interprofessional team to encourage team members to protect the privacy, confidentiality, and security of patient information.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
To successfully prepare to complete this assessment, complete the following:
In this assessment, assume you are a nurse in an acute care, community, school, nursing home, or other health care setting. Before your shift begins, you scroll through Facebook and notice that a coworker has posted a photo of herself and a patient on Facebook. The post states, “I am so happy Jane is feeling better. She is just the best patient I’ve ever had, and I am excited that she is on the road to recovery.”
You have recently completed your annual continuing education requirements at work and realize this is a breach of your organization’s social media policy. Your organization requires employees to immediately report such breaches to the privacy officer to ensure the post is removed immediately and that the nurse responsible receives appropriate corrective action.
You follow appropriate organizational protocols and report the breach to the privacy officer. The privacy officer takes swift action to remove the post. Due to the severity of the breach, the organization terminates the nurse.
Based on this incident’s severity, your organization has established a task force with two main goals:
The task force has been charged with creating a series of interprofessional staff updates on the following topics:
You are asked to select one of the topics, or a combination of several topics, and create the content for a staff update containing a maximum of two content pages. When distributed to interprofessional team members, the update will consist of one double-sided page.
The task force has asked team members assigned to the topics to include the following content in their updates in addition to content on their selected topic(s):