Privacy, Security, Ethics, and Change Management

397 words | 2 page(s)

HIPAA, ARRA, and HITECH Act are similar in that they all work to protect privacy and security of healthcare data. They all deal with health information use and protection but in different ways. In particular, HIPAA, ARRA, and HITECH Act are different in that the focus of HIPAA is on laying the groundwork for health information security and privacy; the focus of ARRA and HITECH, its subsection, is on promoting the expansion of health information technology use. ARRA is the abbreviated form of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Its primary focus was on providing incentives to healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records solutions in a meaningful way. HITECH focuses on security provisions; while HIPAA, adopted in 1996 and periodically updated since that time, defines the basic rules related to patient data privacy and security. Interestingly, where HITECH and HIPAA converge is the security provisions. Hence, one can say that even though HITECH is formally a part of ARRA, in reality its closer to HIPAA than to ARRA.

HIPAA, ARRA, and HITECH Act are important and monitored by the government because they form a standard in industry which helps clients get better healthcare services owing to Protected Healthcare Information (PHI). For instance, clients are unlikely to protest against the use of healthcare information technology to manage their data if they know there are severe penalties for the breach of their confidentiality and privacy. If the clients accept and trust EHR, this will help healthcare system develop, save costs, and provide better services.

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Burris (2017, p.7) asserts that the value of the government’s introduction of HIPAA and HITECH lies in creating “a bond of trust between the patient and the covered entity entrusted with their data.” In his article, the author examines the ways in which healthcare providers can comply with the healthcare information security legislation using recent technology. An important conclusion is that the compliance with privacy regulations can lead to a meaningful return on hospitals’ investments.

This article supports the opinion that the government needs to monitor HIPAA and other healthcare information security legislation as it shows how HIPAA and HITECH endorses patients’ rights and maintain a gold standard in the industry with regard to records care and clients’ trust in PHI practices.

  • Burris, T. (2017). Can you meet strict privacy rules with limited resources? Health Management
    Technology, 38 (9), 17.
  • OCR (2003). Summary of the HIPAA privacy rule. Class Material.

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