Research asserts that Health Information Management (HIM) is a critical profession which resides along various legal, moral and ethical issues (Morrison, 2008). Therefore, HIM professionals are likely to face various challenges, which are closely correlated to ethical, legal and moral dilemmas. This proves that the legal system plays a crucial part in the procedures which are involved in medical facilities. This includes the way the nurses in a health facility take care of patients. Nowadays, an individual can easily file a suit against a health practitioner, health facility or even companies, which produce medical products and equipments in case the medical result is not satisfactory. This paper is a rough draft which discusses the involvement of a legal system in health information management.
According to various scholars, Health Information Management includes a number of regulations and ethics. This also involves the control of patient data in order to avoid cases of fraud and healthcare abuse. Some of the regulations are contained in the abortion law, the health insurance act and recovery and reinvestment law. All caregivers in health organizations should strictly comprehend to these laws so as to avoid legal action (Morrison, 2008).
Recent research asserts that abortion cases have become one of the controversial subjects in healthcare management. Most individuals in the society claim that abortion is unethical because it is similar to murder. In most countries, there are certain health facilities which have been specifically established to deal with cases of abortion. On the other hand, there are individuals who support abortion. Health professionals who perform abortion are advised to preserve the privacy and confidential information of the patient. In addition, they are supposed to abide by the regulations set by the legal system of the country. Therefore, the health professionals are not supposed to release any information regarding a patient who performs an abortion to the limit of the law (Reamer, 2003).
There are certain roles, which are supposed to be performed by the HIM professionals in a healthcare facility. The HIM professionals should be involved in maintaining the health information records of a patient (Morrison, 2008). They are regarded as caretakers of personal information. In fact, the HIM professionals secure the confidential information of a patient by restricting the dissemination of the information to the general public. The HIM professionals are also liable for providing quality healthcare services. They achieve this by updating the information concerning case records of the patients.
During this epoch, they are faced with various moral and ethical dilemmas which include euthanasia and abortion cases. However, during their course, the HIM professionals also face various challenges, which are linked to societal ethics and the legal system. Most jurisdictions point out that abortion and euthanasia are crimes which are slowly contributing to massive loss of life. As stated above, the HIM professionals are supposed to provide utmost privacy for patient information (McWay, 2009).
However, in nations where euthanasia and abortion are considered as a felony, the HIM staff might be subjected to an ethical or legal predicament. They can be forced to conceal the patient records according to professional ethics or disclose the information (McWay, 2009). This is because; in some countries, abortion is an individual’s decision while, in other countries, it is strictly prohibited. In this case, the legal system affirms that no individual has the right to commit murder since; it is one of the capital crimes.
These ethical and legal challenges can be easily overcome effectively by the HIM professionals through various methodologies. For example, the HIM professionals can make balanced decisions through evaluating the pros and rip offs which are involved in each and every circumstance. The health professionals should also evaluate the ethical and legal considerations before making an unbiased decision. Furthermore, in health information law and ethics, HIM professionals should be responsible for the actions and decisions which are revealed in the health study (McWay, 2009).
Medical ethics has traditionally focused on the patient-doctor relationship but, in the recent world the care is focused on the entire organization. The information provided shows that ethical obligations are of considerable significance in health facilities (Morrison, 2008). This sensitive information may consist of adoption cases, alcohol, sexual or genetic information. The HIM staff is usually taught certain expertise roles which make them responsible for managing patient information.
The HIM profession has a mission to provide the required service of securing health information hence promoting the quality of healthcare provided by a health care center. These professional values mostly require a complex procedure whereby conflicts are balanced from the obligations and understanding of ethical decision making. The HIM professionals are directed by a set of laws which consists of six main purposes (Sue, 2000).
In conclusion, these purposes include identifying the core values on which the HIM mission is based on, a summary of ethical principles, which reflect the professional core values. These values also provide help to the HIM professionals with various ethical uncertainties and articulate a set of guidelines, which the HIM professionals can use even when they are engaged in unethical conduct. According to the legal system, when the health practitioners do not follow the code of ethics they are not automatically considered as criminals. The determination of a crime in this situation is usually defined by the legal proceedings (Sue, 2000).
McWay, D. (2009). Legal and ethical aspects of health information management (3rd ed.). Stamford: Delmar Cengage Learning Press.
Morrison, E. (2008). Health care ethics: Critical issues for the 21st century (2nd ed.). Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Reamer, F. (2003). Social work malpractice and liability (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.
Sue, M. (2000). Ethics in practice. JONA’s Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation, 2(2), 54-58.