Legal,Ethical, and Professional Issues in Information Security

Information technology

In recent years the health care system has had more interaction with technology. Compare to other departments it may seem to lag behind. However, the heath care department has been making progress in the use of technology. From equipment to innovations to technology systems, hospitals have been increasing their reliance on technology (Halamka, 2009).  The use of information technology to facilitate sharing of patient information between health care providers is the technology that has most impacted the modernization of health care.

This is largely because this technology improves the provision of health care services and in addition reduces problems that have been associated with health care like wrong prescriptions, physicians missing patient files and errors among others. One of the areas in which technology has been helpful to health care is “secure exchange of patient data“ (Halamka, 2010).

This technology has had a big impact because it centers on one of the most basic components of health care; records. Health care involves a lot of records. Be it doctors note, records of medical procedures, prescriptions, supply records, pharmacy and human resource. According to Charette (2006) technology has improved the way doctors notes are recorded. With new technology doctors can share patient’s information that regards their care.

This enables the doctors to respond in a timely and efficient manner to the needs of patients. (Halamka, 2010). Another reason is that technology allows medical procedures to be recorded. This facilitates efficient follow up visits and emergency visits from out patients. In addition patients can be able to avoid in patient stay.

Another reason is that technology is assisting to reduce errors in prescriptions (Charette, 2006). According to Charette (2006) prescription errors can be avoided by using the electro system. This system ensure prescriptions on doctors’ orders go straight to the pharmacy (Halamka, 2010).  This cuts down on the number of patients who get the wrong prescriptions sometimes resulting in death in case of  drug interactions and allergic reactions.

Another reason is the supply. Records of supplies help pharmacies and hospitals keep track of medical supplies and drugs foe efficiency. This is especially true in emergency departments. Technology allows hospitals to make restock on time. Another reason is that patient files and information are keep safe by use of technology. Files electronic files are safer than regular files. According to the HIPPA security patients have a right to privacy (Wager et al, 2009). Information technology is fast becoming paramount to health care. However privacy is important as well and patients privacy needs to be respected (Wager et al, 2009; Charette, 2006).

Charette (2006) cites examples of hospitals that have embraced information technology. One example is Mayo’s clinic. This clinic has been at the fore front of using technology to better its service and efficiency (Charette, 2006). The Mayo clinic has made investment in its electronic system rendering its records paperless. (Charette, 2006).  Another example is the Boston Medical center in Massachusetts. This hospital has been using information technology to better save its patients.

These two hospitals have extensively used information technology as well as advanced technology. However the information technology has had more bearing on their hospitals than advance technology. Advanced technology has enabled the hospitals to have newer ways of diagnosing and treating. However without proper exchange of information advanced technology would not as big an impact as it does. Information technology enhances the delivery of other technologies( Wager, et al, 2009).

The future of information technology is great in health care. More and more hospitals are setting up information technology. The success stories of some of the hospitals that have been using information is inspiring. The government is also working towards providing more funds for the implementation of electronic technology. Recently for modernization of IT,  the federal government set aside funds amounting to 30 billion (Halamka, 2010). The government is committed to making technology available to health care in step with the reform measures that have been heralded by the signing of the reform bill in 2010.

With the changes that occur in Internet technology it is important to protect the information technology (University of Miami, 2005). This can be achieved by consistently adhering to the ethics and laws regarding privacy. The Internet makes it easy for information to be stolen or accessed. There have been instances when people’s private information has ended up in the wrong hands. By ensuring safe measure in the use of information health care can avoid violating patient’s right (Health Information Policy, 2010).


Information technology is one of the best things to happen to health care. With its use health care can improve the services that patients receive. In addition it will cut down on the costs and expenses on hospitals making health care cheaper eventually. Information technology is receiving support from the government and health practitioners. As more hospitals and medical centers use information national databases which so far have not been possible could be created. Hopefully information technology will be used more in the future of health care.




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Halamka, J. (2009). How Massachusetts can lead health IT modernization. Retrived on

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Health and Human Services. (2010). Health information policy. Retrived on 19th

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University of Miami. (2005). Privacy/Data protection project. Retrived on 19th

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Wager, K., Lee, F., Glaser, J. (2009). Health care information systems: A practical

             approach for health care management. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.