ETHICS, CYBER ETHICS, AND SECURITY Transforming Nursing ETHICS, CYBER ETHICS, AND

  

ETHICS, CYBER ETHICS, AND SECURITY


Transforming Nursing

ETHICS, CYBER ETHICS, AND SECURITY

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to two of your colleagues by expanding upon their responses or sharing additional or alternative perspectives.

PEER #1

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Courtney Cole Hiscox

Challenges

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity stands as a paramount concern for numerous organizations. Among them, healthcare institutions play a pivotal role, entrusted with safeguarding highly sensitive data regarding individuals’ health, medical histories, and financial information, a responsibility of immense importance (Nahm et al., 2019). Patients may have concerns about the privacy and security of their health information, especially in light of high-profile data breaches and privacy violations in the healthcare sector. One of the three primary goals of cybersecurity in healthcare is confidentiality (Alanazi, 2023). Addressing these concerns while maintaining the confidentiality of patient data is essential for building and maintaining trust. Healthcare practitioners face numerous challenges in striking this balance, with the most significant issue being data security risks. This includes cyber-attacks, insider threats, device vulnerabilities, and data breaches (Alanazi, 2023).

Strategies

To navigate these challenges effectively, healthcare organizations can implement strategies such as comprehensive security training for nurses, practitioners, and health care providers along with regular security assessments and updates (Nahm et al., 2019. In today’s digital healthcare landscape, Nursing Informaticists (NIs) and Healthcare Practitioners play a crucial role as custodians of patient health data. In Nahm et al.’s (2019) study, it was emphasized that Nursing Informaticists play a pivotal role in safeguarding personal health data across different stages, including evaluation, implementation, and maintenance of systems. They collaborate closely with clinicians and patients, utilizing a range of health information systems and consumer-oriented devices and programs, thereby ensuring the security of personal health data. Moreover, NI’s excel in educating and training clinicians, staff, and patients on best practices for protecting health data, thereby further fortifying the confidentiality of patient information. By consistently reinforcing training efforts, staff can stay abreast of evolving threats and technologies (Nahm et al., 2019). Maintaining these priorities while upholding patient confidentiality is crucial for fostering trust in healthcare institutions. According to Nahm et al. (2019), another vital approach involves conducting ongoing security audits of digital systems to swiftly identify and resolve vulnerabilities. In addition to this proactive measure, it’s imperative to regularly update both software and hardware with the latest security patches. This ensures that any newly discovered vulnerabilities are promptly addressed, reducing the risk of potential security breaches (Alanazi, 2023). By implementing these measures, healthcare organizations can effectively leverage digital tools to enhance care delivery while safeguarding patient confidentiality and privacy.

References

Alanazi A. T. (2023). Clinicians’ Perspectives on Healthcare Cybersecurity and Cyber Threats. Cureus, 15(10), e47026.

Nahm, E. , Poe, S. , Lacey, D. , Lardner, M. , Van De Castle, B. & Powell, K. (2019). Cybersecurity Essentials for Nursing Informaticists. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 37 (8), 389-393. doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000570


 ReplyReply to Comment

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PEER #2



Shinu Mary Rajan

                                                                                     Ethics, Cyber ethics, and Security

The confluence of cyber ethics, ethics, and security is vital to the safety of clinicians and patients in clinical practice. The fundamental framework of ethics, which emphasizes values like beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, directs the actions and choices made by healthcare professionals. Following ethical rules is crucial to preserving patient dignity, confidentiality, and trust in clinical practice. Cyber ethics expands this framework into the digital sphere by addressing concerns like patient data privacy, informed consent in telemedicine, and the responsible use of technology in healthcare delivery. Comprehending cyber ethics is crucial for protecting confidential patient data and averting unauthorized access or breaches, given the growing dependence of healthcare systems on digital platforms and interconnected networks. Safeguarding patient security and avoiding interruptions to essential healthcare services depend on maintaining cybersecurity. To reduce leaps and preserve the integrity and confidentiality of patient data, security measures such as encryption, access controls, and routine system audits are crucial. To protect patient trust, privacy, and well-being in an increasingly digital healthcare environment, healthcare professionals must thoroughly understand ethics, cyber ethics, and security. According to researchers, cybersecurity is becoming a more pressing concern when healthcare providers adopt digital technologies to improve patient care quality. The damaging effects of cyberattacks, like WannaCry and ransomware, on the healthcare industry have been highlighted by recent reports, Nifakos, S. et al. (2021).

What are the key challenges that healthcare practitioners encounter when balancing patient care with the requirement for stringent data protection?

Healthcare providers face numerous obstacles to maintaining strict data security guidelines while providing the best possible care for their patients. A significant obstacle is striking the right balance between protecting patient privacy and gaining access to medical records necessary for treatment. Reaching this balance necessitates carefully planning when and how to access private information without jeopardizing privacy. Another level of complexity is added by navigating the intricate web of regulatory frameworks like HIPAA and GDPR. Healthcare organizations may find it time-consuming and resource-intensive to continuously adapt to changing mandates and requirements to comply with these regulations. Technological obstacles exacerbate the problems above, as the widespread use of digital health records and telemedicine platforms expands the potential for data breaches. Strong cybersecurity measures and continuing technology investments are necessary to ensure the security of data transmission, storage, and access points. Further underscoring the necessity of thorough employee training and awareness initiatives is the continued vulnerability of threats from insiders and human error. A comprehensive healthcare data protection approach is imperative as resource constraints, interoperability issues, and the constantly evolving threat landscape intensify. Healthcare providers, organizations, legislators, and technology suppliers must collaborate to balance patient care and data security to navigate these challenges successfully. According to researchers, states were given federal funding through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Balancing Incentives Program (BIP) to facilitate long-term care transition from institutional settings to homes. Nevertheless, whether its use is connected to unpaid caregiving is still being determined, Anastos-Wallen, R., Werner, R. M., & Chatterjee, P. (2020).

Healthcare professionals also have to deal with the issue of protecting patient information while allowing information to move seamlessly between various healthcare providers and systems. Interoperability issues frequently impede the safe exchange of patient data, as I mentioned earlier.  Which also makes it more difficult for healthcare providers to collaborate and provide timely care. Investing in interoperable technologies and creating standardized protocols for data exchange while maintaining strict security measures are necessary to close these interoperability gaps. In addition, new vulnerabilities and complications are brought about by the quick development of healthcare technology and the introduction of creative digital solutions, which call for proactive measures. To successfully navigate these complex challenges, stakeholders must work together to develop a culture of data security, support periodic training and education, and put in place reliable technology alternatives that put patient care and data protection first.

How can healthcare organizations ensure patient confidentiality while leveraging digital tools to enhance care delivery?

Given the increasingly digitalized healthcare environment, healthcare organizations must prioritize safeguarding patient confidentiality while utilizing digital tools to improve care delivery. The deployment of strong encryption and access controls is one crucial factor. Healthcare organizations can protect patient data while it is being transmitted and stored by using encryption technology. Access controls reduce the possibility of data breaches and unauthorized disclosures by limiting access to sensitive information to only authorized individuals. These precautions are the cornerstone of a safe digital infrastructure, protecting patient privacy and facilitating productive use of digital resources. A medical cyberphysical system (MCPS) combines cyber and medical sensor devices to provide security and a sensitive user experience. Because it can identify attacks and safeguard patient medical data, MCPS is essential to hospitals. According to researchers, hospitals increasingly use medical cyber-physical systems (MCPS) to provide patients with high-quality, round-the-clock care. A networked, context-aware, life-critical medical equipment system is called MCPS. Achieving high assurance in context-aware intelligence, autonomy, security, privacy, interoperability, and system software has proven difficult, Shaikh, T. A., Rasool, T., & Verma, P. (2023).

Furthermore, it is critical to follow regulatory compliance guidelines. To preserve patient privacy rights, healthcare organizations must abide by laws like the GDPR (General et al.) in Europe and the HIPAA (Health et al. Act) in the United States. Policies, procedures, and technological protections must be implemented to ensure patient data’s privacy, availability, and integrity. To ensure that patient confidentiality is maintained as the highest priority across all digital platforms and methods, regular audits and assessments assist in locating and addressing any gaps in compliance. Staff training on data security best practices is also essential. A thorough education in cybersecurity awareness, managing electronic health records (EHRs), and protecting patient data in digital settings should be provided to healthcare personnel. Healthcare organizations can enable their personnel to safeguard patient privacy while utilizing digital technologies to provide high-quality care by cultivating awareness and accountability. Maintaining patient confidentiality in digital healthcare delivery also requires effective communication channels. Investments in telehealth solutions that prioritize patient privacy, encrypted email services, and secure messaging platforms should be made by healthcare organizations. When patients and healthcare providers communicate via electronic messaging or virtual consultations, secure communication channels keep patient information private. In addition, healthcare institutions ought to conduct routine audits and data access monitoring to react swiftly to any possible security breaches. By putting logging and auditing systems in place, businesses can effectively track patient data access, spot unusual activity, and look into security incidents.

In conclusion, healthcare organizations can successfully use digital tools to protect patient privacy by putting strong encryption and access controls in place, following legal requirements, training employees on data security best practices, purchasing secure communication channels and putting monitoring and auditing systems in place.

 

Anastos-Wallen, R., Werner, R. M., & Chatterjee, P. (2020). Prevalence of Informal Caregiving in States Participating in the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Balancing Incentive Program, 2011-2018. 
JAMA Network Open, 
3(12), e2025833.

Nifakos, S., Chandramouli, K., Nikolaou, C. K., Papachristou, P., Koch, S., Panaousis, E., & Bonacina, S. (2021). Influence of Human Factors on Cyber Security within Healthcare Organisations: 
A Systematic Review. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 21(15).

Shaikh, T. A., Rasool, T., & Verma, P. (2023). Machine intelligence and medical cyber-physical system architectures for smart healthcare: Taxonomy, challenges, opportunities, and possible solutions. 
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 146, 102692. 

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