Nurses use technology in the form of electronic health records to collect, manage, analyze, and communicate patients’ information. The chief goal of using nursing informatics is improving the care offered to clients. However, the use of technology in hospitals may result in ethical concerns that should wisely be handled by nurses (Epstein & Turner, 2015; Hussey & Kennedy, 2016). This post describes confidentiality, which is a moral matter, and how the nursing code of ethics can be utilized by a nursing professional in the process of decision-making.
Although a nursing professional may face the challenge of a breach of confidentiality when handling a client’s information that is contained in electronic records, he or she should rely on the nursing code of ethics to make decisions that result in the best possible care (Epstein & Turner, 2015). The concern of confidentiality arises in case there is the use of a client’s data without his or her knowledge. The nursing code of ethics states that patients should be provided with clear information concerning how their records are utilized and the reasons, if any, for disclosing them to other parties. However, if one faces the concern, it is important to understand that the policy has exceptions, which arise when patients’ lives are endangered and in case of a legal requirement. In this context, a professional may make decisions after notifying a client of the information that he or she intends to disclose and the recipient of the records (Epstein & Turner, 2015).
The use of technology by nurses has improved the quality of care, but ethical concerns may be encountered when handling nursing informatics. A breach of confidentially is not allowed by the nursing code of ethics unless in circumstances where the life of an individual is at risk or in case of a current legal requirement. The code can be applied to make the right decisions when such issues occur.
- Epstein, B., & Turner, M. (2015). The nursing code of ethics: Its value, its history. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(2), 1-10.
- Hussey, P. A., & Kennedy, M. A. (2016). Instantiating informatics in nursing practice for integrated patient-centered holistic models of care: A discussion paper. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(5), 1030-1041.