Privacy and Patient Rights

The Healthcare Industry and the Switch to Electronic Health Records (EHR)

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and this includes the tools that doctors use to provide patients with high-quality care. But there has been a lot of interest in switching to the new electronic health records from paper-based medical records. (EHR). Numerous businesses have developed the guidelines because EHR has so many advantages over the paper-based system. (Bacon, Eppelheimer, Kasamatsu, Lam, & Nottingham, 2017). One of the most important elements is privacy and security, since it recognizes the value of maintaining the confidentiality of medical records. Due to security flaws, internet hackers are able to obtain important information and so gain access to unauthorized people. When this happens, could lead to identity theft that can destroy client's reputation and finances.

Protection of Patient Information through EHR

Use of EHR for protecting the patient's information is controlled by HIPAA to ensure the security and privacy of the data (Fernández-Alemán, Señor, Lozoya, & Toval, 2013). Moreover, to ensure the confidentiality of the patient information is protected, EHR is built with numerous measures to safeguard the medical record. Firstly, EHR has access control implements such as passwords, firewalls, and antivirus software to limit the access of the data. Similarly, the fingerprint detector built in store fingerprint of anyone who has accessed the data, which enable the patient and the physician to identify who has logged in to the data. Additionally, EHR encrypts information stored to ensure that the data cannot be understood or read by unauthorized people. Also, it is difficult to decrypt due to the specials key required that is available only for authorized individuals.

Challenges and Hurdles Associated with EHR

Despite the benefits of using EHR, hurdles still exist. Some of the EHR provides usability challenges to the operators (Tnmed, 2012). Unclear navigations and multiple screens that may force them to use paper-based records can frustrate nurses and physicians (Casey, Schwartz, Stewart, & Adler, 2016). Similarly, technical ability occurs as computer literacy in healthcare sector may vary areas making it difficult to use in such areas.


Bacon, C. E. W., Eppelheimer, B. L., Kasamatsu, T. M., Lam, K. C., & Nottingham, S. L. (2017). Athletic trainers' perceptions of and barriers to patient care documentation: a report from the athletic training practice-based research network. Journal of Athletic Training.

Casey, J. A., Schwartz, B. S., Stewart, W. F., & Adler, N. E. (2016). Electronic health records and population health research. Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research, 5(5), 15-22.

Tnmed. (2012). Electronic Health Records: Privacy and Security. YouTube. Retrieved from

Fernández-Alemán, J. L., Señor, I. C., Lozoya, P. Á. O., & Toval, A. (2013). Security and privacy in electronic health records: A systematic literature review. Journal of biomedical informatics, 46(3), 541-562.

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