January 17, 2020
cynthia cooper worldcom
January 17, 2020

Prepare a 2-page interprofessional staff update on HIPAA and appropriate social media use in health care.

As you begin to consider the assessment, it would be an excellent
choice to complete the Breach of Protected Health Information (PHI)
activity. The will support your success with the assessment by creating
the opportunity for you to test your knowledge of potential privacy,
security, and confidentiality violations of protected health
information. The activity is not graded and counts towards course

Health professionals today are increasingly accountable for the use
of protected health information (PHI). Various government and regulatory
agencies promote and support privacy and security through a variety of
activities. Examples include:

  • Meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR).
  • Provision of EHR incentive programs through Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules.
  • Release of educational resources and tools to help providers and
    hospitals address privacy, security, and confidentiality risks in their

Technological advances, such as the use of social media platforms and
applications for patient progress tracking and communication, have
provided more access to health information and improved communication
between care providers and patients.

At the same time, advances such as these have resulted in more risk
for protecting PHI. Nurses typically receive annual training on
protecting patient information in their everyday practice. This training
usually emphasizes privacy, security, and confidentiality best
practices such as:

  • Keeping passwords secure.
  • Logging out of public computers.
  • Sharing patient information only with those directly providing
    care or who have been granted permission to receive this information.

Today, one of the major risks associated with privacy and
confidentiality of patient identity and data relates to social media.
Many nurses and other health care providers place themselves at risk
when they use social media or other electronic communication systems
inappropriately. For example, a Texas nurse was recently terminated for
posting patient vaccination information on Facebook. In another case, a
New York nurse was terminated for posting an insensitive emergency
department photo on her Instagram account.

Health care providers today must develop their skills in mitigating
risks to their patients and themselves related to patient information.
At the same time, they need to be able distinguish between effective and
ineffective uses of social media in health care.

This assessment will require you to develop a staff update for the
interprofessional team to encourage team members to protect the privacy,
confidentiality, and security of patient information.

Demonstration of Proficiency

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your
proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment
scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 1: Describe nurses’ and the interdisciplinary team’s
    role in informatics with a focus on electronic health information and
    patient care technology to support decision making.     

    • Describe the security, privacy, and confidentially laws
      related to protecting sensitive electronic health information that
      govern the interdisciplinary team.
    • Explain the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to safeguard sensitive electronic health information.
  • Competency 2: Implement evidence-based strategies to effectively manage protected health information.     
    • Identify evidence-based approaches to mitigate risks to
      patients and health care staff related to sensitive electronic health
    • Develop a professional, effective staff update that educates
      interprofessional team members about protecting the security, privacy,
      and confidentiality of patient data, particularly as it pertains to
      social media usage.
  • Competency 5: Apply professional, scholarly communication to
    facilitate use of health information and patient care technologies.     

    • Follow APA style and formatting guidelines for citations and references.
    • Create a clear, concise, well-organized, and professional
      staff update that is generally free from errors in grammar, punctuation,
      and spelling.


To successfully prepare to complete this assessment, complete the following:

  • Review the infographics on protecting PHI provided in the
    resources for this assessment, or find other infographics to review.
    These infographics serve as examples of how to succinctly summarize
    evidence-based information.     

    • Analyze these infographics, and distill them into five or six
      principles of what makes them effective. As you design your
      interprofessional staff update, apply these principles. Note:
      In a staff update, you will not have all the images and graphics that
      an infographic might contain. Instead, focus your analysis on what makes
      the messaging effective.
  • Select from any of the following options, or a combination of options, the focus of your interprofessional staff update:     
    • Social media best practices.
    • What not to do: Social media.
    • Social media risks to patient information.
    • Steps to take if a breach occurs.
  • Conduct independent research on the topic you have selected in
    addition to reviewing the suggested resources for this assessment. This
    information will serve as the source(s) of the information contained in
    your interprofessional staff update. Consult the BSN Program Library Research Guide for help in identifying scholarly and/or authoritative sources.


In this assessment, assume you are a nurse in an acute care,
community, school, nursing home, or other health care setting. Before
your shift begins, you scroll through Facebook and notice that a
coworker has posted a photo of herself and a patient on Facebook. The
post states, “I am so happy Jane is feeling better. She is just the best
patient I’ve ever had, and I am excited that she is on the road to

You have recently completed your annual continuing education
requirements at work and realize this is a breach of your organization’s
social media policy. Your organization requires employees to
immediately report such breaches to the privacy officer to ensure the
post is removed immediately and that the nurse responsible receives
appropriate corrective action.

You follow appropriate organizational protocols and report the breach
to the privacy officer. The privacy officer takes swift action to
remove the post. Due to the severity of the breach, the organization
terminates the nurse.

Based on this incident’s severity, your organization has established a task force with two main goals:

  • Educate staff on HIPAA and appropriate social media use in health care.
  • Prevent confidentiality, security, and privacy breaches.

The task force has been charged with creating a series of interprofessional staff updates on the following topics:

  • Social media best practices.
  • What not to do: Social media.
  • Social media risks to patient information.
  • Steps to take if a breach occurs.

You are asked to select one of the topics, or a combination of
several topics, and create the content for a staff update containing a maximum of two content pages. When distributed to interprofessional team members, the update will consist of one double-sided page.

The task force has asked team members assigned to the topics to
include the following content in their updates in addition to content on
their selected topic(s):

  • What is protected health information (PHI)?     
    • Be sure to include essential HIPAA information.
  • What are privacy, security, and confidentiality?     
    • Define and provide examples of privacy, security, and
      confidentiality concerns related to the use of the technology in health
    • Explain the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to safeguard sensitive electronic health information.
  • What evidence relating to social media usage and PHI do interprofessional team members need to be aware of? For example:     
    • How many nurses have been terminated for inappropriate social media usage in the United States?
    • What types of sanctions have health care organizations imposed
      on interdisciplinary team members who have violated social media
    • What have been the financial penalties assessed against health care organizations for inappropriate social media usage?
    • What evidence-based strategies have health care organizations
      employed to prevent or reduce confidentiality, privacy, and security
      breaches, particularly related to social media usage?
  • Your staff update is limited to two double-spaced content pages.
    Be selective about the content you choose to include in your update so
    that you are able to meet the page length requirement. Include need-to-know information. Leave out nice-to-know information.
  • Many times people do not read staff updates, do not read them
    carefully, or do not read them to the end. Ensure your staff update
    piques staff members’ interest, highlights key points, and is easy to
    read. Avoid overcrowding the update with too much content.
  • Also supply a separate reference page that includes 2–3
    peer-reviewed and 1–2 non-peer-reviewed resources (for a total of 3–5
    resources) to support the staff update content.
Additional Requirements
  • Written communication: Ensure the staff update is free from errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Submission length: Maximum of two double-spaced content pages.
  • Font and font size: Use Times New Roman, 12-point.
  • Citations and references: Provide a separate
    reference page that includes 2–3 current, peer-reviewed and 1–2 current,
    non-peer-reviewed in-text citations and references (total of 3–5
    resources) that support the staff update’s content. Current mean no
    older than 5 years.
  • APA format: Be sure your citations and references adhere to APA format. Consult the APA Style and Format page for an APA refresher.


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Meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). was first posted on January 17, 2020 at 10:55 am.
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