How do HIPAA and the HITECH Act impact nursing practice?
HIPAA stands as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability. It primarily helps in the development of the flow of health care information, Personally identifiable information maintained by the healthcare industry, and its insurance industry that protected from fraud. HIPAA is an act that was passed in 1996 and updated by the HITECH ACT. It provides privacy, security, and protected health information (PHI). Mostly it covers the respective entities- DOCTORS OFFICE, HOSPITALS, HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, HEALTH PLANS, HEALTH CARE CARING HOUSES. Generally HIPAA its a privacy rule help to obtain PHI. the HITECH act increased those acts
HIPAA and HITECH Act impact nursing practice. as it protects patient confidentiality by defining patient privacy rights so the area most important for nurses to preserve the privacy of patients' private health information. Nurses and others who can provide care are entrusted with the patient's health information. HITECH magnified the HIPAA to promote the same implementation of electronic health records. They are obligated to protect the information. HITECH addresses the loopholes in the original legislation. It introduces accountability for business associates.
So, how nursing practice been impacted. Generally, nurses are involved in the transmission of PHI. so, they need to understand the security rules. All the PHI should be encrypted prior to transmission. Encryption is the format, it helps to transform the information in such way that it is unreadable. Even hackers could not get information about PHI.
Nursing should know the basic information before handling patient information.