Ethics in health informatics
Ethical challenges in health information
Does the vendor bear any moral responsibility for incorrect recommendations or faulty software? Unfortunately, though, it is the provider who bears the burden of having to enter data in a way the computer requires, not in a way that they might find more convenient narrative dictation. What ethical issues arise at the intersection of informatics and managed care? What if the problem is not faulty information in the system, but rather a poorly designed display that misleads or is easily misinterpreted by the provider? Secondary data analysis made possible by structured data raises questions about privacy and consent and thus ultimately patient autonomy. Clinician Use Clinicians themselves need to exercise caution on the web. Part of the Health Informatics book series HI Abstract After reading this chapter, you should know the answers to these questions: Why is ethics important to informatics? But some clinicians find the inconvenience of such systems to be a burden, and patients can experience clinician use of such systems during medical encounters as intrusive. Prescription Medication Of questionable morality is the alleged practice of some pharmaceutical companies of operating support group sites whose real purpose is clandestine market research. Some hospitals and practices themselves make health information available on the web in an attempt to provide a reliable source of information for patients. Would that call into question that use of such systems is a moral obligation? Drug-drug interaction problem detection depends on a medication list completed by drop-down menu choices rather than a narrative paragraph listing medications. On the web patients can obtain health-related information, interact in blogs and support groups, purchase health-related products such as exercise equipment, monitoring devices, and nutritional supplements , engage in eVisits, access medical records and pay hospital bills through patient portals, maintain personal health records, and even buy prescription medications.
Again, though, sometimes here we see a tension between following the obligation to respect patient autonomy and preventing harm to patients beneficence. How much information needs to be provided to patients about the HIE for an opt-out policy to constitute consent that is truly informed?
Such documentation problems may be the result of not just carelessness but unfamiliarity with the system.
Nursing informatics and ethics
What are the leading ethical issues that arise in health care informatics? Some hospitals offer personal health records that download information from the hospital records. Why does the establishment of standards touch on ethical issues? If such a technology is available, and might help prevent patient harm or improve patient outcomes, is the provider morally obligated to use it? Some physicians are willing to engage in email exchanges with patients but for only limited purposes. Confidentiality concerns, unrealistic patient expectations of service or for immediate replies, time constraints, and reimbursement issues make email of limited usefulness. Furthermore, what if clinicians using such systems in actual practice engage in documentation techniques that may be dangerous to patients? With computer systems this seems a difficult task because records are easily shared with more people: physicians, nurses, other clinicians, clerks, coders, managers, information technology staff, insurance personnel, the government, patients, vendor staff, and even patients themselves. Steering patients away from all such sites seems unrealistic. What ethical issues arise at the intersection of informatics and managed care? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, — Griping about patients, other clinicians, or health care management should also be avoided.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Patients who feel their health information will be kept confidential will more likely share it willingly with providers, which is important for optimal care.
Will the provider then resort to using both structured data entry and accompanying narrative text, which would seem to take longer than narrative text alone?
Clinician Use Clinicians themselves need to exercise caution on the web. Or they may think their provider will not meet their medication needs.
Ethical dilemmas created by the use of health information technologies
Hence the existence of drop-down menus, data entry boxes, and the like for entering vitals and creating problem lists and medication lists, for example. Patients use the web for more than information — they can buy prescription medications from online pharmacies. Why does the establishment of standards touch on ethical issues? Or only that if used, such systems must be used in a morally responsible fashion? Washington, D. Respecting patient autonomy may even entail allowing patients to weigh in on some policy decisions. What are examples of appropriate and inappropriate uses and users for health-related software?
Nonmaleficence requires refraining from harming patients, while beneficence entails providing beneficial care. Beneficence also includes preventing harm — as opposed to refraining from harm, which is nonmaleficence. Do patients have trouble obtaining needed medications from their local physician and pharmacy?
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