Ethical Concerns in Healthcare Information Technology

The utilization of information technology in healthcare has increased in popularity in the past few decades. More and more healthcare institutions are using information technology to facilitate patient care in almost all units and departments. Healthcare information technology has enhanced care delivery by enhancing patient safety and care quality. However, healthcare information technology has various ethical issues and concerns. This discussion presents three ethical concerns in utilizing healthcare technology and informatics.

One of the significant ethical concerns, mainly in healthcare decision-support technologies, is the possibility of faulty information in the system or technical problems that lead the care provider to make wrong decisions. In such cases, the patient may be harmed or have poor health outcomes. The ethical question for healthcare decision-support technologies is whether the care provider is at fault for making the wrong decision (Gupta et al., 2022).

According to Goodman (2020), the quality and standard of healthcare technologies are ethical concerns. Software quality and standards should be trustworthy in terms of documentation accuracy. Additionally, any healthcare software should have room for being easily understood, corrected, and improved.

Patient privacy and information security are major ethical concerns in healthcare information technology and informatics. Since healthcare information is usually stored in cloud storage, the information may be accessed by unauthorized persons, compromising patient privacy and putting the patient’s safety at risk. Research shows that patient privacy issues are a major challenge in this age where technology has traversed the medical field and big data sets are used (Price and Cohen, 2019).

In conclusion, healthcare information technology and informatics have improved healthcare delivery to a great extent. However, ethical concerns include possibilities of faulty systems, quality and standards of healthcare technology, and patient privacy and information security. Healthcare institutions should consider addressing these issues to ensure that healthcare technology and informatics improve care delivery and protect patients from any harm that would arise.

 

 

 

References

Goodman K. W. (2020). Ethics in Health Informatics. Yearbook of Medical Informatics29(1), 26–31. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1701966

Gupta, S., Modgil, S., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, I. (2022). Artificial intelligence for decision support systems in the field of operations research: review and future scope of research. Annals of Operations Research308(1), 215-274. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-020-03856-6

Price, W. N., 2nd, & Cohen, I. G. (2019). Privacy in the age of medical big data. Nature Medicine25(1), 37–43. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-018-0272-7

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