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Capella 4040 Assessment 2

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    Capella 4040 Assessment 2

    Capella 4040 Assessment 2 Protected Health Information

    Student Name

    Capella University

    NURS-FPX 4040 Managing Health Information and Technology

    Prof. Name


    Protected Health Information (PHI): Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality 

    Protected health information (PHI) refers to any individual’s health information that is created, received, maintained or transmitted by a covered entity or business associate. PHI can include a patient’s medical history, test results, diagnosis, treatment, and other health-related information that can be linked to a specific individual. The protection of sensitive electronic health information (ePHI) is governed by various laws and regulations, including:

    Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which is a federal law that sets standards for protecting the privacy and security of patients’ health information. It requires healthcare providers to implement administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect ePHI, and imposes severe penalties for non-compliance. Others are, Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act which strengthened HIPAA’s privacy and security provisions. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is another ePHI protectant which regulates body implemented by the European Union that regulates the processing of personal data of EU residents (W. Moore & Frye, 2019).

    Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), PHI is defined as any information that relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual, the provision of health care to an individual, or the payment for the provision of health care to an individual (Van Diggele et al., 2020).

    Importance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Safeguard PHI

    Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential for safeguarding sensitive electronic health information (ePHI) in several ways:

    1. Ensuring comprehensive and coordinated care: When healthcare providers from different disciplines work together, they can provide more comprehensive and coordinated care to patients. This can improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of errors that could compromise the security or privacy of ePHI.
    2. Enhancing data security: An interdisciplinary team can develop and implement a comprehensive data security strategy that incorporates best practices from different fields. This can help identify potential vulnerabilities and threats, and create a more robust security framework to protect ePHI.
    3. Improving compliance: Different disciplines may have different interpretations of data privacy and security regulations, and working together can help ensure that all team members are aware of their obligations and responsibilities. This can help ensure that the team complies with relevant laws and regulations governing the handling of ePHI.
    4. Strengthening risk management: An interdisciplinary team can better identify and manage risks associated with the use and sharing of ePHI. By working together, team members can develop effective risk mitigation strategies and respond more quickly to any incidents or breaches.
    5. Promoting accountability: When healthcare providers from different disciplines collaborate, it promotes accountability and transparency. This can help ensure that ePHI is handled responsibly and that patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality are respected.

    Overall, interdisciplinary collaboration is essential for safeguarding ePHI, promoting quality care, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. By working together, healthcare providers can create a more robust and effective framework for protecting patients’ sensitive health information.

    Evidence-based Approaches to Mitigate Risks to Patients and Healthcare Staff

    There are quite a few evidence-based approaches which can mitigate risks to patients and healthcare staff related to sensitive electronic health information (ePHI). Some of these approaches include:

    • Implementing access controls and encrypting ePHI can both prevent unauthorized access or disclosure of ePHI. Healthcare settings can use technical safeguards, such as passwords, biometric authentication, symmetric or asymmetric encryption, and role-based access controls, to ensure that only authorized individuals can access ePHI.
    • Regular risk assessments should be a part of daily routine which can help healthcare organizations identify potential vulnerabilities and threats to ePHI. Risk assessments can identify risks related to physical, technical, and administrative aspects of ePHI, and can help organizations implement appropriate controls to mitigate those risks. The HITECH Act requires healthcare organizations to conduct regular risk assessments and implement appropriate security measures to protect patient data.
    • Educating healthcare staff about the importance of protecting ePHI and the risks associated with unauthorized access or disclosure can help promote a culture of security and privacy. Training can include policies and procedures, best practices for handling ePHI, HIPAA regulations, and guidelines for reporting potential breaches or incidents (W. Moore & Frye, 2019).
    • Establishing incident response plans can help healthcare organizations respond quickly and effectively to potential breaches or incidents. 
    • Implementing audit logs can help healthcare organizations monitor and track access to ePHI. Audit logs record who accessed ePHI, when they accessed it, violating HIPAA regulations and what actions they took. Implementing auditing and monitoring tools can help healthcare organizations detect potential breaches and take action before they become serious.

    Educating Interprofessional Team to Protect PHI

    As healthcare providers, we are entrusted with sensitive patient data that requires the utmost protection. In today’s digital age, social media has become an important tool for communication, but it also poses risks to patient privacy and confidentiality (W. Moore & Frye, 2019). Therefore, it is crucial that interprofessional teams take steps to safeguard patient data, both in our professional and personal use of social media. They must be aware of the consequences and penalties of breaching patient privacy and confidentiality.

    According to a survey conducted by the American Nurses Association (ANA), 21% of nurses have witnessed colleagues posting inappropriate patient confidential content on social media, and 16% of nurses reported that they have been disciplined or terminated for inappropriate social media use. While many others stated, how many nurses have been terminated for inappropriate social media use in the United States. Healthcare organizations can similarly face significant financial penalties for inappropriate social media use. For example, in 2016, a health system in California was fined $2.14 million for a data breach caused by an employee who posted patient information on a social media website (Lieneck et al., 2022).

    Capella 4040 Assessment 2

    Interprofessional teams and healthcare workers should know some important guidelines protecting patient data on social media:

    1. Do not share patient information by respecting their confidentiality with anyone who is not directly involved in their care, including friends and family members. 
    2. Be cautious about sharing photos and not to post any photos of patients or their medical conditions, even if they are anonymized. 
    3. If you come across any violations of patient privacy on social media, report them immediately to the organization’s privacy and security officer.

    To conclude, interprofessional team members can better understand the risks associated with social media usage and take steps to protect patient privacy and confidentiality (Lieneck et al., 2022). By implementing evidence-based approaches, healthcare organizations can mitigate risks to patients and healthcare staff related to sensitive electronic health information. These approaches can help ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI, and can help organizations comply with relevant laws and regulations.


    Edemekong, P. F., Annamaraju, P., & Haydel, M. J. (2022). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. 

    Isola, S., & Al Khalili, Y. (2023). Protected Health Information. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

     Lieneck, C., Wang, T., Gibbs, D., Russian, C., Ramamonjiarivelo, Z., & Ari, A. (2022). Interprofessional Education and Research in the Health Professions: A Systematic Review and Supplementary Topic Modeling. Education Sciences, 12(12), 850.

    Moore, W., & Frye, S. (2019). Review of HIPAA, Part 1: History, Protected Health Information, and Privacy and Security Rules. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, 47(4), 269–272.

    Van Diggele, C., Roberts, C., Burgess, A., & Mellis, C. (2020). Interprofessional education: tips for design and implementation. BMC Medical Education, 20(S2).

    Capella 4040 Assessment 2