Policies and regulations of the legislative nature play an important role in determining how health informatics is implemented and used. These laws and policies are intended to protect the privacy, security, and quality of health information, as well as to encourage the adoption of new technologies that can improve the outcomes of patients and the delivery of healthcare.
Legislative policies and regulations that affect health informatics and nursing include:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA: HIPAA regulates patient privacy and the security of their health data. This law sets forth standards that healthcare providers, insurers, and others must follow to protect patient confidentiality.
- Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or HITECH (Act): The HITECH (Act) is a federal statute that encourages adoption and meaningful uses of electronic medical records (EHRs), and other technologies in health. This law provides financial incentives for providers of healthcare who use EHRs effectively and adopt them.
- Medicare Access CHIP Reauthorization Act – MACRA: MACRA promotes use of payment models based on value in the healthcare industry. The law requires that healthcare providers use EHRs certified to gather and report data on quality, used in determining payment rates for Medicare.
- The Joint Commission’s Standards for Accreditation: The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission’s Standards for Accreditation: The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.
- Policies and regulations at the state level: Each state has its own set of laws and regulations that govern health informatics and nursing. Some states require that healthcare providers notify their patients when there is a data breach involving personal health information.
Overall, legislation and regulation are essential for the safe and efficient use of healthcare and nursing informatics. The policies and regulations are designed to help protect the privacy of patients, encourage technology-based improvements in healthcare, and set standards that healthcare providers must follow when utilizing electronic health data.