Standards, Privacy, and Security

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Explain why health IT privacy and security standards are important

The use of management software systems has grown over the past years as more health organizations find the need to minimize workload, manage their data effectively and to process their periodic reports at ease. The major questions that arise are the issues of privacy and standards to be employed in their Information Technology (IT) systems.

IT Privacy refers to guarantee that data meant for an individual is not accessible by other persons without authorization. On the other hand, IT standards refer to measures of quality level of IT systems. Both standards and privacy are important for the IT systems when developing interoperability within the health setting to ensure that health records of patients do not get tampered (Nass, Levit, Gostin & Institute of Medicine (U.S.)., 2009).

The major importance of privacy is that it increases patient’s trust. If the privacy of the system is at risk, the patient will lack trust in the system and after that, they will fear to reveal their personal information to you. Most of the patients’ information is very critical such that tampering, unauthorized access or withholding such data may lead to very serious consequences. Secure systems are advantageous because they are reliable, and therefore they easily render better outcomes.

IT Standards are important in various ways. Firstly, standards are important in cutting cost associated with business, because it enables the systems to adapt to every organization. If all health institutions apply the same standards for their systems, then it will be easier and cheaper to communicate and thereby increasing the earnings. Additionally, organizations that develop and integrate quality standards are advantageous because they can gain more customers as most people trust health institutions with standardized systems. Standard can also get used in fine-tuning the performance and managing the risks while working efficiently and sustainably. It enables organizations to embed better practices within them (Cleverley, Cleverley & Song, 2011).

What individuals and groups are accountable for maintaining patient privacy? Who is responsible for health system security?

It is the duty of all stakeholders, including the employees and the management of the health institutions departments, and those who get registered into the systems, to ensure that the patient’s privacy gets maintained. The systems developer play their part in developing systems that are reliable, secure and train the users on how to use the systems in storing patients information, retrieving and printing reports. Employees should ensure that the privacy of they do not leave the systems while login sessions are still active and that they use strong passwords which cannot get easily guessed or those that are subject to brute force attack (Harman & American Health Information Management Association., 2006). The organization plays their part by ensuring that the systems are periodically tested and maintained by the systems developers to eliminate faults and errors. Similarly, the network engineers should frequently analyze the network for attack attempts.

What are two important considerations when assessing the security of a health IT system?

The two major considerations include cost and productivity.  In cost justification, there is always an added expense with improved security. Cost justification is usually tiresome as it does not realize income returns and therefore the organizations should ensure that they review risk assessment properly before providing justifications. Additionally, security assessment should always enhance on IT operations productivity as well as the productivity of security and audit (York & MacAlister, 2015).

What are Government Regulations guide those decisions?

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security ensures that all patients’ information including their families and relatives do not get protected and that they do not get disclosed. The rule provides details of those who do not get insured by HIPAA protections and the required safeguards to be set up to ensure the required security of system health information (International Business Machines Corporation., 1974).

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides detailed health insurance reforms to widen health care, enhanced quality, reduce medical costs and develop new patient protections.Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical health (HITECH) ensures that HHs are authorized to create programs to enhance health quality, efficiency, and safety by increased utilization of information exchange and health IT.

Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) also provides health IT regulation strategy that promotes innovation, minimizes duplications of regulations, improves patients’ security and use of mobile applications.

Name and describe two safeguards utilized for system security

The first safeguard is the administrative safeguard, whereby a security management operation is developed, including policies, procedures, audits, contingency plans, as well as other safeguards that ensure that the medical office staff complies with it. Later on, the organization assign security role to a person who will ensure that security measures are adhered to and that the staff conduct themselves well. This safeguard also provides requirements for proper staff training as well as proper authorization for system access, depending on levels. The medical staff is required to attend education periodically (Colling & York, 2009).

Second is physical safeguard that ensures the security of offices and buildings (such as use of keys and padlocks). The institution develops policies such as handling visitors, authorizations, use of equipment and logging off. The safeguard also includes fire and other environmental hazards.


Cleverley, W. O., Cleverley, J. O., & Song, P. H. (2011). Essentials of health care finance. Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Colling, R. L., & York, T. (2009). Hospital and Healthcare Security. Burlington: Elsevier.

International Business Machines Corporation. (1974). Data security and data processing. White Plains, N.Y: IBM.

Harman, L. B., & American Health Information Management Association. (2006). Ethical challenges in the management of health information. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Nass, S. J., Levit, L. A., Gostin, L. O., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2009). Beyond the HIPAA privacy rule: Enhancing privacy, improving health through research. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.

York, T. W., & MacAlister, D. (2015). Hospital and healthcare security.

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