In (Ventola, CL 2014). Platforms such as Facebook,

In today’s world technology has
become something we can’t live without. We have been consumed by it, with
electronics such as cellphones, tablets, and computers. All things that we use
on a daily basis; at home, school and even in the work environment. It has given
us an advantage in such a significant number of various ways; but with many
things also comes disadvantages. With the rise of technology came the rise of
social media. “The definition of “social media” is vast and constantly changing.
The term usually refers to Internet-based tools that allow individuals and
communities to come together and communicate; to share information, ideas,
personal messages, images, and other content; and, in some cases, to
collaborate with other users all within in real time” (Ventola, CL 2014). Platforms
such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter, linked in, have become our main source of
communication, information and attention. Social media is used widely in the health
care field because of the many benefits it has, as long as it’s used wisely. That’s
why many laws were set in place, the most important one being HIPAA which stands for Health Insurance and
Portability and Accountability Act. It was signed by President Bill Clinton in
1996, the law in which it addressed the need for standards to regulate and
safeguard health information and making provisions for health insurance
coverage for employed persons who change jobs” (McGonigle, 2015). “The HIPAA Privacy
Rule is meant to safeguard and protect the privacy of personal health
information, and set limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may
be made of such information without patient authorization” (U.S Department of
Health & Human Services, 2016).  In
this paper, I will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of
smartphones in the medical workplace.

 

 

Introduction

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Healthcare professionals are mandated
to be educated about privacy protocols and to abide by HIPAA to ensure patient
confidentiality and privacy.  “Violating
HIPAA by disclosing protected health information knowingly or unknowingly on
social media or any other form can lead to losing your license, possible fines
and even imprisonment” (Bouldrick, 2015).

To begin I chose scenario 4:

I received a message the next
morning from a peer at work that there is a big investigation being conducted
at work due to a HIPAA violation and that it involved a celebrity who had been
admitted to the hospital. The word is that legal action is being taken against
the hospital due to some photos that were sold to the Gossip Gazette. Worried,
I called my best friend and asked her if she had sent anything to which she
replied “No, I would never”. Knowing that the photo I sent is safe with my best
friend, I went to my bag and I reached for my smartphone. To my shock, my phone
is nowhere to be found. Knowing what I had done was wrong, I shouldn’t have
taken those photos to begin with. I didn’t have consent from my patient to do
so. I went to the charge nurse and explained to her the situation, as I should
take full responsibility for my actions.

Combining both social media and
technology has made information widely accessible, also easily shareable. In
the medical profession, technology is used to help advance our knowledge of
medicine. Technology has made information accessible with the tap our finger
tips. Some of the advantages of smartphones are the many health-related apps
you can download. These days we have apps such as Health, that lets you track your
steps for the day, or how many calories you’ve burned. For women, we have
menstruation cycle app, ovulation apps that help you keep track of your days.
For checkups, patients can now put their information in an app which will then generate
all the physicians available. That same app also gives the option to make an appointment
for any available day and time. For the elderly and extremely ill patients,
they came up with a button that you press that alerts emergency services for
you. All of these are just a few different ways technology has helped patients
easily access healthcare. Technology has made information accessible for
medical professionals with the tap of their fingertips. An example would be if
a patient has a diagnosis that the nurse is not knowledgeable of all she would
need do is grab a computer and search it. If she would need to check the labs for
her patient, it is just a click away on the computer. This helps because it
makes the nurse’s job easier, but also smoother. Social media platforms have
also influenced Nursing education. ” With one survey reporting that 53% of
nursing schools are now social media as an educational tool. For example,
Twitter has been used to enhance the clinical decision-making skills of nursing
students in critical care situations. The students viewed videos of clinical
scenarios and tweeted their observations on the patient’s condition for
instructor feedback. YouTube is also used in the classroom to stimulate
discussion, to illustrate a point, or to reinforce a concept. Students can view
a video and then respond to questions that promote clinical reasoning” (Ventola,
CL, 2014).

 Now with every advantage, comes a
disadvantage. One disadvantage regarding technology in the medical profession
would be the lack of security. When you start working at a hospital you are assigned
your own personal ID. This ID is used to access all the hospital’s patient’s
charts, paper work, and labs. It’s against HIPAA to view a chart that you are
not a consultant on. An article I read stated “There are many ways people can easily get access to
information if anyone in the hospital takes pictures, texting to other people
about patient’s information, or any other individual could potentially tap into
any hospital employee phone” (Hanbali, E,2013). Now one
of the biggest disadvantaged of cellphones in the work place is how easily
distracting they are. “The use of smartphones in the clinical area by medical
staff is prevalent and there is a need to more fully address the threat to
patient confidentiality posed by the use of unsecured communication devices
such as smartphones” (Tran, K. 2016). This pertains to my scenario, instead of
the nurse taking care of the patient she was too busy taking photos because he
is a celebrity.

Conclusion:

I never truly realized how much technology
and smartphones consumed my life until I did this paper. In nursing school, it’s
so easy to just google something or download an app as backup when you don’t know
something. But when you are in the hospital, constantly being on your phone can
lead to so many mistakes. We have protocol’s and laws in place for how we
should go about social media and technology as medical professionals. As long
as we abide by them I think the medical field and the professionals within can
truly prosper from the technology given.