Role of Nurses in Employing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to Protect Patient And Employers Essay

Role of Nurses in Employing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to Protect Patient And Employers Essay

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a governmental statute that mandated the development of nationwide standards to safeguard delicate patient medical data from being disclosed without the patient’s permission or connivance. The HIPAA law’s privacy provisions restrict who has access to a patient’s health records and how they can be used. Hospitals and nurses can only use this data for treatments, getting reimbursement for care, and specific care and management goals such as enhancing care quality (Ives Erickson & Millar, 2019). They must provide patients with written notice of how their health records will be used, set up procedures to manage disclosure, and enable patients to examine, acquire copies of, and change their own health records.

The nurse’s responsibility in patient protection includes a dedication to preserving patients’ privacy and a knowledge of the ramifications of violating this and its long-term effects. The nurse should not share patients’ information with colleagues in a way that is unrelated to medical treatment. In most circumstances, nurses must discuss care coordination, and there is the possibility that a patient’s health records may be revealed inadvertently. However, as stated in the Confidentiality Rule’s incidental disclosure clause, “certain inadvertent uses and reporting of safeguarded medical data are allowed to occur when the contracting party has plausible precautions and requisite policies and protocols in place to guard and patient’s privacy” (Ives Erickson & Millar, 2019).  This includes screening when sharing certain information to prevent unintended recipients from gaining any knowledge that can put the employer or patient in contradictory situations (Ives Erickson & Millar, 2019).

Another approach for the nurse to safeguard both the patient and the employer is through careful document handling. Although there is a significant growth in electronic health records, healthcare institutions continue to depend significantly on printed documents. Edemekong et al. (2022) state that when moving toward HIPAA compliance, physical measures should consider as papers or files must not be left carelessly while handling any hard copy documentation. Rather, the nurse should keep them in a locked drawer.  Record rooms must be completely sealed while not in use, with access restricted to only needed and authorized staff. When physical documentation is no longer required for record-keeping, nurses should destroy it, and with this, HIPAA regulations are followed, thus protecting both the employer and the patient.

Using a collaborative effort can help to preserve patient information. To assist in constructing the first line of defense in securing personal patient information, all healthcare employees must commit to following HIPAA’s security and privacy rules (Edemekong et al., 2022). This is especially noticeable when dealing with electronic health records, where several people have logins and passwords. If security is not created, information can leak from the system, causing irreparable harm to patients’ privacy, including the risk of discrimination (Kogetsu et al., 2018). Although encryption may be used to secure data, it requires authentication. To secure patient information is secure, authentication is required both at the moment of login and at the time of patient registration.



CDC. (2022). Health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Edemekong, P. F., Annamaraju, P., & Haydel, M. J. (2022). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Ives Erickson, J., & Millar, S. (2019). Caring for patients while respecting their privacy: renewing our commitment. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing10(2), 2.

Kogetsu, A., Ogishima, S., & Kato, K. (2018). Authentication of patients and participants in health information exchange and consent for medical research: A key step for privacy protection, respect for autonomy, and trustworthiness. Frontiers in Genetics9.



After reading the section in your text about HIPAA and reviewing the 9 short videos at the following website: describe what you see would be your role in a medical facility to protect the patient and your employer.

When you are ready for the discussion, do the following:

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