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Capella 4040 Assessment 2

Capella 4040 Assessment 2: Protected Health Information (PHI), Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality Best Practice


Capella university

NURS-FPX 4040 Managing Health Information and Technology

Prof. Name


Protected Health Information (PHI), Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality Best Practices

In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal legislation, was enacted to provide individuals with rights and protections concerning their health information (CDC, 2018). It outlines guidelines for the appropriate use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) by businesses dealing with health data. Any data relating to an individual’s current, past, or future physical or mental health, obtained or generated by healthcare providers, health plans, public health authorities, employers, or other healthcare service providers, is considered protected health information (HIPAA, 2018). Examples of such data include names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, account numbers, clinical details, and diagnoses.

Summary of PHI Laws

The HIPAA Security Rule sets forth national requirements to safeguard electronic PHI (ePHI) (Gatehouse, 2020). It mandates that covered entities implement necessary measures to prevent unauthorized access, misuse, or disclosure of ePHI. In case unprotected PHI is compromised, covered entities are obligated under the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule to inform the affected individuals (Heath et al., 2021). Furthermore, covered entities are required to notify the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and, in specific cases, the media, as per the Rule. The HIPAA Enforcement Rule outlines the procedures HHS must follow to investigate and penalize organizations violating HIPAA Rules. This includes imposing sanctions for non-compliance, such as civil monetary fines, corrective action plans, and potential legal actions (Moore & Frye, 2019).

Best Practices for Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality

The aforementioned regulations provide a robust foundation for multidisciplinary teams to safeguard the privacy of sensitive electronic health information. These laws necessitate that covered entities implement reasonable and necessary safeguards to prevent unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of ePHI. They also outline processes for HHS to take legal action against entities breaching HIPAA Rules and ensure individuals have control over their PHI.

The Significance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Interdisciplinary collaboration is vital for securing sensitive electronic health information (ePHI) as it allows various stakeholders to work together to ensure patient data security and compliance with data privacy and security laws. By leveraging knowledge from various disciplines, organizations can better comprehend the risks associated with managing ePHI and devise measures to secure it (Beckmann et al., 2021).

For instance, an interdisciplinary team of specialists might include a privacy officer, IT staff, legal counsel, and a health information management specialist. This team can aid a healthcare company in formulating policies and procedures to safeguard ePHI, such as implementing appropriate access controls and encryption to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to the data. Additionally, the team can assist the company in devising a response plan in case of a data breach (Beckmann et al., 2021).

Evidence-Based Approaches to Mitigate Risks for Patients and Healthcare Staff

To minimize risks for patients and healthcare staff while utilizing social media containing sensitive electronic health information, several strategies can be implemented (Health, 2022):

  • Develop a social media policy outlining guidelines for interacting with patients on social media and restrictions on sharing private information.
  • Utilize secure communications, ensuring that the services used are HIPAA compliant and encrypted to guarantee data safety.
  • Educate employees on the risks of social media usage and the importance of safeguarding private electronic health records.
  • Monitor social media accounts for improper information and ensure staff members comply with the rules and regulations.
  • Limit access to sensitive electronic health information to only those individuals who need it to perform their duties.
  • Employ authentication procedures to verify the identity of anyone accessing sensitive data.
  • Establish auditing and monitoring mechanisms to detect any unauthorized access or attempted access to sensitive information.
  • Stay updated with the latest best practices for safeguarding private electronic health information.

Effective Staff Training for Interprofessional Teams

As healthcare providers, it is our responsibility to ensure the security, privacy, and confidentiality of patient data, especially when using social media (Arigo et al., 2018). Adhering to the strictest standards of patient confidentiality, medical practitioners using social media should follow these rules:

  1. Avoid engaging in speculation or criticism of a patient on social media.
  2. Refrain from disclosing information about a patient’s health or treatment on social media.
  3. Never publish any patient-identifying information on social media, including images.
  4. Do not use social media to request or receive patient information.
  5. Avoid disclosing any patient data or confidential information to individuals outside the healthcare team.


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Basil, N. N., Ambe, S., Ekhator, C., & Fonkem, E. (2022). Health records database and inherent security concerns: A review of the literature. Cureus, 14(10).

HIPAA Journal. (2023, February). Hipaa Social Media Rules – updated 2023.

Javaid, D. M., Haleem, Prof. A., Singh, D. R. P., & Suman, D. R. (2023). Towards insighting cybersecurity for healthcare domains: A comprehensive review of recent practices and trends. Cyber Security and Applications, 1(100016), 100016.

Kerr, H., Booth, R., & Jackson, K. (2020). Exploring the characteristics and behaviors of nurses who have attained microcelebrity status on Instagram: Content analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(5), e16540.

Vos, J. F. J., Boonstra, A., Kooistra, A., Seelen, M., & van Offenbeek, M. (2020). The influence of electronic health record use on collaboration among medical specialties. BMC Health Services Research, 20(1), 676.

Vukusic Rukavina, T., Viskic, J., Machala Poplasen, L., Relic, D., Marelic, M., Jokic, D., & Sedak, K. (2020). Dangers and benefits of social media on e-professionalism of healthcare professionals: Scoping review (preprint). Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(11).

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