GAH-Quality, Ethics, and IT/HIPAA

GAH-Quality, Ethics, and IT/HIPAA

Introduction

Quality, IT/HIPAA, and ethics are essential areas in the healthcare sector, which attract immense attention from various stakeholders in the industry. The government, through amendment acts, sets the regulations to protect patients in area involving quality of healthcare, charges of services, and confidentiality. In addition, through various agencies, ensures that the concerned stakeholders in the industry uphold the set standards. Medical facilities, on the other hand, set standards to ensure that the quality of service meets the government requirements and meet the customer demands. Hospitals also must follow the existing ethical guidelines to uphold the dignity of customers and adopt efficient IT security measures to safeguard patients’ information. A medical facility, must observe quality, IT/HIPAA, and ethical requirements to avoid a backlash from customers and conflicts with the government.  

Quality

The proposed hospital, to ensure high standards defines quality as healthcare that maximizes output, while utilizing minimum resources for the benefit of the patient. Additionally, the facility expresses quality as coordinated care between departments and outpatient settings to minimize negative responses from the patients. Therefore, GAH will develop a culture of delivering cheap but high quality services for inpatients and outpatients across all the departments.

            Some of the expected problems in quality service delivery are expected to emanate from the inability of systems to address shortcomings within them. In most cases, issues result from below par performance metrics and/or biasedness of test procedures. Therefore, it becomes extremely hard for facilities to evaluate performance; hence, improve or uphold quality standards. In this regard, Golden Age Hospital will put adequate efforts to ensure that performance metrics reveal the facility’s nature and level of service delivery.

            One of the criteria that the facility will adopt to minimize quality issues will include picking definite points, with guaranteed measurability to function as metrics. In addition, Golden Age Hospital will develop performance standards and conduct consistent updates of measures to comply with emerging quality requirements. The hospital will also establish a team for quality assurance to evaluate quality of services delivered and recommend performance factors and metric changes.

            Golden Age Hospital will also conduct educational surveys to gather information about the institution. Such information is expected to assist the facility create an environment conducive for employee participation; hence, increase their desire to perform beyond the quality bar. In addition, the surveys will give insights about the employee’s expectations from their leaders; hence, enable them adopt a ‘lead by example style’. With such techniques of approach of quality of service, the hospital is expected to meet the federal, state, and customer requirements; hence, boost promote business.

Figure 1: A Training and Facilities Quality of Service Reference

Figure 2: A Staffing, Equipment, and TQM Quality of Service Reference

IT/HIPAA

HIPAA, (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), also regarded to as the Public Law 104-191, possesses two primary objectives of providing continuous health cover and minimize cost and administrative burdens. The law standardizes the financial and administrative transactions’ electronic transmission. HIPAA also intends to combat fraud, abuse, waste in healthcare delivery and insurance and assure long-term access to health insurance and care services. The law is reviewed annually to ensure emerging concerns in the health sector are addressed and seal loopholes, which might be used by facilities to compromise service delivery.

            Golden Age hospital will ensure that it complies with HIPAA transaction standards for the federal government to allow delivery of services to the elderly patients. In addition, the hospital will incorporate all the annual amendments to the law, which will be conducted within a six months window, to ensure full compliance and make standards adherence an ongoing process. Golden Age Hospital will emphasize on meeting the HIPAA guide to guarantee protection of PHI (Protected Health Information), which includes information about provision of healthcare, health status, or payments from covered entities that can be associated to particular person. Therefore, the facility will consider physical and electronic means of protecting customer information. In this regard, the hospital will acquire stand-alone Information Technology products to enhance appropriate encryption of communication to reduce chances of patient data compromise.

Ethics

As noted earlier, the security of patients’ information is essential; hence, the facility will put immense emphasis to prevent, or identify any compromise to sensitive data to minimize or eliminate impacts of attacks. However, there exist two challenges expected in ensuring that encryption techniques adhere to guidelines, which arise from verification of particular users and message encryption. Notably, there exists a difficulty of confirming that particular information belongs to an individual, which may lead to exposure of patient’s data to unintended parties. Additionally, there exist numerous message encryption standards in the field of health IT, which may not be fully known to a facility’s management. Therefore, a hospital will always fall short of certain standards regarding message encryption. However, Golden Age Hospital will always review recent standards and make efforts to implement them. In addition, the hospital will password authentication dedicated to established user tokens will be utilized to enhance identification of encryption to the message sender and receiver.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Since quality, ethics, and HIPAA/IT are essential areas that healthcare facilities should put adequate emphasis to ensure compliance, with the industry’s standards and meet customer expectation, Golden Age Hospital will consider adopting recommendations stipulated below-

  1. The facility should develop an awareness culture of matters concerning standards to ensure continuous delivery of quality care.
  2. The hospital should consider accommodating regular reviews of the industry policies and standards to ensure up to date quality assurance measures and improve compliance.
  3. Golden Age Hospital should ensure data protection by following IT professionals’ guidelines that are related to data protection standards in the IT industry, to uphold security of customer information; hence, improve satisfaction.
  4. The hospital should also Incorporate IT industry best practices to reduce chances of  patient data compromise , since, most of the transactions involved in covered healthcare industry involves electronic transmission of information; hence, requires Information security measures.

Golden Hospital by adopting the above recommendations will be ensured of minimum or no Information security incidences, which can lead to compromise of patient information. The hospital will also be assured of high quality services, which will guarantee customer satisfaction; hence, improve business. Finally, the facility will incur minimal losses in terms of court fines emanating from customers having compromised information.

References

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