Assignment: Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics Essay

Assignment: Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics Essay

Assignment: Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics Essay


Social media is an effective way of communicating in nursing (Smailhodzic, Hooijsma, Boonstra & Langley, 2016). Nevertheless, it can result in negative repercussions especially when guidelines for appropriate use are not provided. Social media is also used in recruitment, employee assessment, and college admission. The purpose of this paper is to outline the information that should be included in hospital social media policy, support whether social media content should be used in recruitment, employee assessment, and college admission. The paper will also outline how informatics is related to accreditation decisions, reimbursement, and quality of care.

The use of social media and smartphones within the healthcare system can result in a breach of patient confidentiality. Although the adoption of social media platforms can help in marketing as well as help patients to find hospitals, some healthcare workers are reckless and may share patients’ private health issue online, which violates the HIPAA and makes it hard for the hospitals to attract and retain patients (Smailhodzic, Hooijsma, Boonstra & Langley, 2016). An example is the case of a Navy hospital where staffers called babies ‘mini Satans’ on social media. To prevent such occurrences, the best approach is creating a social media policy.

The policy should indicate that the hospital has zero-tolerance on posting of any picture related to the hospital or mentioning patients. The staff should avoid taking pictures of different areas of the hospital or even mentioning information that identifies a patient’s condition and prognosis because it violates HIPPA rules (Welch et al., 2016). Moreover, the policy should indicate that it is inappropriate to acknowledge that a person is receiving care in the hospital since the patient medical’s experience is their own to share. Also, the policy should address blogging issues. In dealing with blogging, it should outline that it is not a business-related activity and should be executed during the personal time only. Secondly, if the hospital has company-sponsored blogging, it can only be executed after authorization from the public relations department. However, bloggers should be alerted that they should not even try to camouflage a patient’s identity online because it will fail.

Moreover, the hospital policy on social media should indicate that people can retweet, share and pass what one writes on a social network and thus whatever an employee types into a keyboard is public. It should equally outline that staff should never be seen as tweeting or updating their Facebook status to maintain respect (Welch et al., 2016). The exception is that it can only be done during breaks or when one is away from the patient. Lastly, this policy should include periodical training like social media in the workplace training during annual employee refreshers as well as social media policy in employee onboarding sessions.

In terms of ethical and legal concerns, the case provided breaches regarding the federal HIPAA privacy law that occurs when one posts information, comments, photos or videos about a patient in social networking sites (Westrick, 2016). Ethically, nurses should safeguard patient information obtained during treatment and the information should only be presented to other health care professionals for care provision. Lastly, confidential information about a patient ought to be broadcast after receiving the patient’s informed consent. Violations of these ethics provisions result in imposing restrictions and suspending or revoking licenses. Additionally, the actions violate HIPAA and thus the individual and the violating institutions face a maximum penalty of $1.5 million (Westrick, 2016). The affected nurse faces civil and criminal penalties and even jail time. The nurse is also sued for defamation and harassment and faces employment consequences, including termination. Lastly, the healthcare organization loses its reputation and is subjected to a lawsuit of regulatory consequences.

Employer and College Access to Social Media Posts

A post in 2007 indicated that Harvard University terminated ten students after reviewing their social media posts. The termination raises a question of whether personal social media posts should be accessed by either potential employer, current employer, or college. First, social recruiting has become popular and in 3 out of 10 employers, staff are set to snoop on the online persona. The potential employer thus has the right to access social media posts to ensure they get the right hire (McDonald & Thompson, 2016). Access to the information ensures that the employer gets information that supports the candidate’s qualifications for the job, establishes whether the candidate has a professional online persona, and get to know what other people are posting about the candidate.

Current employers should also access their employee posts to establish if there are inappropriate internet and computer usage.  According to the federal Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA), the computer used by employees is the property of the employer and thus they are free to monitor everything one does with the computer (McDonald & Thompson, 2016). Constant monitoring of employees’ posts also ensures that a company mitigates any negative consequences that may arise from a reckless post. For instance, in healthcare, if a staff posts information about a patient online, it hurts the hospital reputation and even can result in a lawsuit. Constant access to employee posts, therefore, can help in pulling down posts that are not appropriate and taking measures to ensure that employees are compliant with the social media policy provided.

For colleges, there is a desire to get students who not only have good grades and impressive test scores but also has a high character. According to a Kaplan survey, sixty-eight percent of admissions officers feel that going through a prospective candidate’s social media pages is fair (Clark, Fine, & Scheuer, 2017). The profiles are public and it can help them learn more about the student. The survey further revealed that 11% of respondents have been denied admission using social media content and 7% have rescinded offers. The access is important because students are joining a community not just for the classroom. Nevertheless, colleges should only look at a candidate’s profile if troubling information has been forwarded by a third party.  Online accounts offer misleading content and everyone has a personal view on anything posted (Clark, Fine & Scheuer, 2017). What may be funny to someone may be offensive to another person. Additionally, most of the college applicants are young people whose funny tweets and Facebook statuses are meant for friends.

As outlined above, when hiring, employers should use a potential hire’s social media content to ensure that they are qualified and

Assignment Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics Essay
Assignment Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics Essay

reflect well on the company. The platform provides information on professional credentials, substance abuse history, career objectives, current employment status, and other red flags to help in determining the suitability of a candidate (McDonald & Thompson, 2016). For the already employed candidates, the information presented can be sued to establish if an individual complies with the organization’s social media policy. The colleges, however, can only use the information if a third party has raised concern. The best approach entails developing a training program that helps students develop a professional social media presence that is appealing to employers (Clark, Fine & Scheuer, 2017).

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Health Informatics

Health informatics is a technology that merges clinical information with computer technology to create digital workflows for clinical and non-clinical staff handling patient care (Shah et al., 2016). Health informatics aims to reduce costs by helping providers coordinate care, increasing efficiency of care by streamlining workflow and increasing patients’ safety by reducing errors. Further, health informatics enhances interoperability making it easier for the healthcare professionals to access patient health records. Moreover, health informatics offers certain technological standards such as billing standards that facilitate medical billing and coding as well as messaging standards like HL7 that create, store and communicate data in the electronic health record and X12N that provides confidentiality, among others (Shah et al., 2016).

The use of health informatics aids in accreditation decisions and all are geared towards patient safety. Accreditation refers to an independent external review process that evaluates the quality of health care services and enhances performances (Alkraiji, Jackson & Murray, 2016). Since accreditation offers a hospital an opportunity to engage in improvement, health informatics comes in to analyze data and outline whether the hospital has met the accreditation standards.  Incidentally, accreditation is offered by standard organizations like the Joint Commission and CMS. Informatics thus guides in these decisions because the computers used should be protected from security breaches and the required information should be accessed swiftly. Informatics also reports on workflow problems to ensure that the necessary changes are addressed (Alkraiji, Jackson & Murray, 2016). In addition, informatics offers data that proves that hospitals adhere to evidence-based process measures thus aids in accreditation decisions.

In terms of reimbursements, accreditation decisions and informatics are interrelated.  For instance, informatics has to meet quality marks like quality, safety, confidentiality and recognition by the CMS for a hospital to receive reimbursement for services (Adler-Milstein et al., 2017). Moreover, informatics helps in documenting necessary payment details. Using the electronic health record, data on patient history and presenting problem are recorded. The system also helps in documenting the tests taken, diagnosis and treatment plan. All the information shows the services rendered and it is used in reimbursement decisions.  Informatics also helps in assigning medical codes that are entered into the software and helps in claiming submission. In essence, health information is used in streamlining the reimbursement process and enhances the efficiency of healthcare reimbursement.

Lastly, having informatics is linked to increased quality of care. It maintains electronic patient records. The EHR system stores patient data, which reduces paperwork and consolidates the records across physicians, specialists, laboratories and hospitals. The system also cuts costs because it automates processes and reduces medical errors. Further, it reduces repeated testing because providers can access test results and records. The reduced number of tests ensures that insurance premiums are constant and the hospital has fewer bills (Adler-Milstein et al., 2017). Informatics also takes human error out of the process of care because the patient gets the right medications. Besides, the system enhances patient education and it enables health informatists to organize information on methods and materials that can help patients and motivate them to follow clinician orders and prescription directions. All in all, all accreditation decisions and reimbursements are pegged on quality of care and thus all the processes can be said to be patient-centered oriented.


Social media use in healthcare increases the risk of patient confidentiality breaches. It is therefore important to create a social media policy to guide employees. The policy should cover details preventing employees from posting patient and healthcare information, regulating blogs, exercising caution on the information displayed, avoiding smartphones when with patients and continuous training. A violation of the policy results in ethical and legal implication like lawsuits and regulatory consequences for the affected organization. It is therefore important for hiring companies to access candidates’ social media posts to ensure that they hire the right candidate. Employers should also access the information to ensure that employees comply with a company’s social media policy. For colleges, the best approach is to only use the information when a red flag has been raised by a third party. Lastly, health informatics merges clinical information with computer technology and thus is essential when making accreditation decisions, reimbursements and enhancing the quality of care.

Write an essay addressing each of the following points/questions. Be sure to completely answer all the questions for each number item. There should be three sections, one for each item number below, as well the introduction (heading is the title of the essay) and conclusion paragraphs. Separate each section in your paper with a clear heading that allows your professor to know which bullet you are addressing in that section of your paper. Support your ideas with at least three (3) citations in your essay. Make sure to reference the citations using the APA writing style for the essay. The cover page and reference page do not count towards the minimum word amount. Review the rubric criteria for this assignment.

Most people remember the story below that made national headlines. As most Americans have smart phones, tablets, and computers the utilization of social media is common place.
Finley, T. (2017, Sept. 20). Navy hospital removes staffers for calling babies ‘mini Satan’s’ on social media. Parenting.
If you were writing a hospital policy on smart phone and social media usage, what should be included in the policy?
What potential ethical and legal liabilities are there for the hospital and employees in the case presented above?
In 2007, Harvard University rescinded admission to 10 students after reviewing their social media post.
Do you feel potential employers, current employers, and colleges have the right to access your social media post? Do you feel employers and universities should make decisions based on your post?
Discuss the relationship between accreditation decisions, reimbursement, quality of care, informatics.
Assignment Expectations

Length: 500 words per essay prompt/section (1500 total for this assignment)

Structure: Include a title page and reference page in APA style. These do not count towards the minimal word amount for this assignment. All APA Papers should include an introduction and conclusion.

References: Use the appropriate APA style in-text citations and references for all resources utilized to answer the questions. Include at least three (3) scholarly sources to support your claims.

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