RUA: ‘We Can, But Dare We?’
Healthcare is readily embracing any technology to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and lower costs, but we must also consider the impact of such technology on privacy and patient care.
Consider the following scenario as you write your paper.
You are working in a busy metropolitan hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. You volunteered to work the night shift in the COVID unit because you wanted to make a difference and be a comforting presence for those patients who are very sick, scared, and unable to visit with their families. There is a serious shortage of nursing staff and supplies (PPE, ventilators). Nurses are being asked to work longer hours, work on their days off, and work long stretches of time without sufficient breaks. The lack of staff and supplies is making it hard to provide proper or adequate care for your patients. You are concerned about patient safety as well as the emotional well-being of your patients.
After arriving to work on a Monday night, your 10th day in a row, you decide to talk to your peers and nursing leaders in hopes of finding some creative ways to meet the demands of caring for your patient during these difficult times. Patients are not able to visit with families and there is a limited number of tablets available for communication.
After not getting any resolution, you have reached your breaking point. You allow some of your patients to use your personal phone to contact their families. You also decide to take pictures and videos of the unsafe conditions on your personal phone. You show the working conditions (empty supply shelves, staff reusing PPE, home-made PPE gear in use, patients with limited means of communication, and the staffing board). You share the video you made on Facebook and soon it is being shared by all your ‘friends’. You are getting a lot of support from your peers who agree with you that this story needs to be told. After you review the Facebook posting, you realize that the pictures and video of the staffing board includes patient names and room numbers. You know there could be some consequences for these actions, but you feel the risk was worth it to get more help and supplies to the frontlines. Besides, with the staffing crisis, they would surely not fire anyone.
The next morning, you get a call from Nursing Administration insisting that you report to the Chief Nursing Officer immediately.
Choose an ending to the scenario, and construct your paper based on those reflections. Choose one of the following outcomes:
· A HIPAA violation occurs, and client data is exposed to the media
· A medication error has harmed a client
· A technology downtime that impacts patient care occurs, and an error is made
· 4.A ransomware attack has occurred, and the organization must contemplate paying the ransom or lose access to patient data