NURS 6051 Policy/Regulation Fact Sheet
NURS 6051 Policy/Regulation Fact Sheet
Technology use in healthcare has gained momentum in the modern world due to the promotion of safety, quality, and efficiency. Health organizations have the responsibility of abiding by the policies that have been developed to promote effective use of health informatics. Therefore, this paper examines the implications of the 21st Century Act on healthcare.
The Selected Policy
The selected healthcare policy that has an effect on the healthcare and nursing informatics is the 21st Century Act or the Cures Act. President Obama signed into use the 21st Century Act in December 13 2016. The act was adopted with the aim of accelerating the development of medical products alongside introducing innovations and medical advances to improve the quality and efficiency of care given to the patients. The act was also adopted to improve the experiences of the patients with the healthcare system by incorporating their perspectives into healthcare processes that include the development of devices, biological products, drugs, and the decision-making processes in the FDA (Gabay, 2017). The 21st Century Act also has some implications on the use of informatics in health. Accordingly, the act requires medical professionals to work together in the discovery of innovative solutions in health. It requires medical professionals such as EHR vendors, physician leaders, pharmacists, and information technology employees to work together towards improving the performance of healthcare systems and patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations are also expected to adopt systems that increase exchange of information to ensure that patients and healthcare providers can easily access the health-related data that they need for them to come up with informed decisions.
The US’s healthcare system is expected to achieve these outcomes related to the use of electronic health records because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the act made provisions for support to the Food and Drug Administration agency to ensure that the processes of data sharing between health organizations and providers are enhanced. The law seeks to eliminate barriers to inter-professional and organizational transfer of information by championing the use of efficient technologies for health (Lye et al., 2018). The second way in which the act seeks to achieve the goals is through leveraging on the existing resources in health organizations such as skilled providers to enhance the adoption of laws and practices that enhance information exchange in health (Medicine et al., 2016).
Impact of the Policy on System Implementation
The 21st Century Act has a number of implications on the system implementation. One of the impacts is the increased need for health organizations to adopt interventions that promote interoperability in the use of electronic health records. As noted above, the 21st Century Act requires health organizations to work together in sharing health data with patients and providers for informed decision-making. The need for information sharing implies that health organizations have to explore mechanisms that can be utilized to ensure the promotion of data integrity during the sharing process. Health organizations also have to support the implementation of evidence-based innovative practices that enhance the use of technologies such as telehealth and social media to monitor, prevent, and treat illnesses (Goble, 2018). The second implication of the 21st Century Act on system implementation is the fact that it has accelerated the adoption of electronic health records for clinical use. The enhanced adoption of electronic health records in health is attributable to the provision of system requirements and capabilities that health organizations must achieve. There is also the fact that the act stipulated assigning of $4.8 billion through the NIH to be used up to 2026 to support the adoption of electronic health records and sharing of health data to inform medical decisions, research, and innovations (Magnuson & Dixon, 2020). Through these interventions, the system implementation of electronic health records will be enhanced in the state, hence, quality, efficiency, and safety in healthcare.
Impact of the Policy on Clinical Care, Patient/Provider Interactions, and Workflow
The 21st Century Act also has a number of effects on clinical care, patient/provider interactions, and workflow. One of the impacts on clinical care is the protection of patient rights in the use of clinical data. The adoption of the policy strengthens the protection of privacy in researches using human subjects. The implication of this provision is the meaningful use of health data to promote health. The act also strengthened the need for the protection of sensitive and identifiable information in sharing health data for use in healthcare. According to the 21st Century Act, health organizations have to achieve interoperability of the use of electronic health records by data integrity in data use (Lye et al., 2018). Data integrity is achieved through the protection of sensitive and identifiable patient information.
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The other impact of the act on patient/provider information is enhanced patient participation in the care process. Patients have the right to access their needed healthcare and use it for making informed decision on issues related to their health. Healthcare providers also have the role of demonstrating professionalism, accountability, and responsibility in the use of the protected patient data. Healthcare providers have to strengthen the implementation of policies and regulations that safe guard data integrity and the effective use of health data in making informed decisions related to patient care. The adoption of the 21st Century Act also has implications of workflow in health organizations. As shown above, the act champions the sharing of information among health organizations and medical providers for informed decision-making. The free sharing of the information minimizes errors in decisions made and the adoption of best evidences in the management of conditions. Similarly, the sharing of information for use in research will result in enhanced rigor, validity, reliability, and reproducibility of the results obtained in clinical studies. Through it, healthcare providers will be able to offer care that utilizes the best available evidence (Magnuson & Dixon, 2020). Consequently, outcomes such as enhanced efficiency, quality, and safety of care will be achieved with the implementation of the 21st Century Act.
Organizational Policies and Procedures in My Workplace
The organization I work with has put in place a number of policies and procedures to ensure that it adheres with the provisions of the 21st Century Act. One of them is enhancing the use of electronic health records in the provision of care. Electronic health records have been utilized for functions such as data storage, analysis, retrieval, and protection. The organization has also developed standards and policies that relate to the use and sharing of electronic health records. It has developed guidelines that healthcare providers have to follow for the effective use of patient data. The policies on the consequences of ineffective use of data have also been developed to ensure the meaningful and safe use of patient data. Lastly, the organization supports researches that seek to innovate the use of technology in health. Evidence-based practice and projects are encouraged for use in ensuring the provision of high quality, safe, and efficient care to the patients.
In summary, the 21st Century Act has significant implications to nursing informatics. The act has provisions that aim at increasing system implementation of electronic health records. The act also strengthens the adoption of measures that aim at improving workflow, patient/provider interaction, and clinical care in health organizations. Therefore, health organizations should embrace policies that aim at supporting the effective implementation of the 21st Century in health.
Gabay, M. (2017). 21st Century Cures Act. Hospital Pharmacy, 52(4), 264–265. https://doi.org/10.1310/hpj5204-264
Goble, J. A. (2018). The Potential Effect of the 21st Century Cures Act on Drug Development. Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, 24(7), 677–681. https://doi.org/10.18553/jmcp.2018.24.7.677
Lye, C. T., Forman, H. P., Daniel, J. G., & Krumholz, H. M. (2018). The 21st Century Cures Act and electronic health records one year later: Will patients see the benefits? Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(9), 1218–1220. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocy065
Magnuson, J. A., & Dixon, B. E. (2020). Public Health Informatics and Information Systems. Springer Nature.
Medicine, N. A. of S., Engineering, and, Medicine, I. of, Services, B. on H. C., & Care, C. on D. E. in H. (2016). Improving Diagnosis in Health Care. National Academies Press.