Cybersecurity Issues Of Healthcare Organizations Homework Essay Sample

Introduction

The paper aims at analyzing the article describing a potential implementation of unified cybersecurity standards for healthcare organizations. The analysis provides the rationale for choosing the topic, explores the positive influence of suggested changes in nursing practices, identifies potential difficulties and adverse effects of the proposed innovation, and discusses the role of the previous knowledge of informatics in reaching the conclusions.

Rationale

The issue of security of digital data becomes more important each year. There are two reasons for this. First, the field becomes gradually more reliant on electronic health records, digital storage media, and electronic means of data analysis for medical research. The amount of healthcare-related information which circulates the cyberspace already comprises a large share of the total data, and the trend is expected to grow. The majority of the involved data is sensitive as it contains important personal information that can be misused in a variety of ways. Simultaneously with the growing recognition of the benefits of the transition, the nursing community becomes aware of the issues associated with the innovation.

First, despite the training events organized to familiarize the staff with the new technology, there are still severe inconsistencies in performance due to poor understanding of the involved equipment and software. Second, because the system is still in the early stage of development, many design flaws exist that compromise the functionality and reliability of the electronic tools to the point where their introduction results in the decline of performance (Roski, Bo-Linn, & Andrews, 2014). Also, some of the mistakes made by the involved personnel lead to data breaches and leaks of sensitive information. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the presence of a unified approach regulated by well-defined and modern standards (Sweeney, 2017).

Another important reason for choosing this topic is the growing threat of deliberate effort aimed at retrieving personal data. As shown by the events of recent years, the number of leaks resulting from deliberate attacks increases over time. As healthcare data becomes more common, it is reasonable to expect that individuals specializing in stealing sensitive data for profit will eventually turn their attention toward the sector. As a result, both the institution on the whole and individual staff members, including nurses, will have their reputation compromised and will lose patient trust. Therefore, the implementation of robust security measures is important for nursing as well as for the healthcare field on the whole.

Impact on Practice

The implementation of voluntary consensus standards is expected to have a predominantly positive effect on nursing practice (Sweeney, 2017). The benefits will include the increase in reliability, improved data handling, and holistic framework integration.

Reliability of Data

Currently, the majority of data that exists in electronic format is sensitive as it contains at least some information that may harm the patient in the case of the disclosure. Such a situation can be effectively addressed by security measures such as encryption and restricted access. On some occasions, such as medical trials and other types of research, the data needs to be processed to anonymize individual results while still retaining important information. On similar occasions (e.g. when some statistical data is made publicly accessible through online resources) certain information needs to remain inaccessible. Finally, a large amount of information involved in various iterations of telehealth needs to be encrypted since it can be intercepted and possibly misused (Hall & McGraw, 2014).

Tools and software solutions for all of these actions are readily available to nurses and other involved parties and are being constantly upgraded and enhanced to ensure a maximum level of protection. Nevertheless, the field lacks a unified approach to the development, which greatly slows down the progress. The encryption methods used by different software providers may vary, which means that their uniformity and compatibility is ensured only through compliance with guidelines (Ayala, 2016). Once the uniform standards are introduced, the providers will be able to create tools and algorithms which will be compatible across the institutions. This will mean better communication between different establishments and scientific bodies and, by extension, fewer inconsistencies and barriers to using data from affiliated entities. Also, decreasing the number of possible ways of data protection will lead to better resource allocation and eventually decrease the cost of equipment. For the nurses, this will mean better access to useful sources of data and a higher likelihood of implementation of innovative healthcare practices in the workplace.

Organizational Improvements

The existence of multiple approaches to ensuring data security prevents providers from creating a more consistent approach to personnel training. Once the standards are in place, they will provide additional clarity in the development of training programs and user guides for software and equipment involving the use of sensitive data. Also, the main threats and unaddressed risks can be addressed collectively and holistically rather than piecemeal, which will add to the integrity of the nurse education. In other words, such unification will eventually result in fewer errors made by the nurses and better preparedness to handle data consciously rather than automatically.

Framework Integration

Aside from the strictly technical achievements associated with the standards discussed in the article, their implementation is expected to result in modifications of currently existing practices on a broader scale. Most likely, the changes will include employee behavior, updates of ethical standards and regulations, and improved managerial practices to strengthen the positive outcomes. In practice, it will likely lead to general improvements in efficiency, productivity, trust, and patient satisfaction.

Possible Negative Effects

The introduction of new standards may also create several undesirable outcomes. First, for the institutions that already have other standards in place, the switch will likely create the need for additional expenses on training, administrative, and managerial efforts. Since the standards are voluntary, it will be possible to opt-out of the program, but such a move will likely result in certain countermeasures such as lack of access to standards-eligible projects and partnerships. Next, depending on the scope of the changes, standardization may potentially decrease the flexibility of security solutions since the limitations make security systems more prone to deliberate attacks. It may also limit the options for security providers who may react by rising prices of their products. Most importantly, it can create additional stress for nurses during the transition period, especially in the case of poorly planned and executed one.

Discussion

It should be acknowledged that most of the conclusions on the effects of standardization were reached using the knowledge of informatics, more specifically, the understanding of security issues, ethical considerations of using data, and relevant knowledge on the progress of utilizing cyber data in healthcare.

Conclusion

While the creation of unified standards of cybersecurity poses certain risks, such as compromised flexibility, high costs of implementation, and organizational inconsistencies, it is highly desirable for achieving long-term benefits of improved accessibility to cyber data by nursing personnel, increased ease of use, fewer barriers, a more consistent managerial framework, and, eventually, better communication across organizations and greater chances for collaboration and partnership.

References

Ayala, L. (2016). Cybersecurity for hospitals and healthcare facilities. Fredericksburg, VA: Apress.

Hall, J. L., & McGraw, D. (2014). For telehealth to succeed, privacy and security risks must be identified and addressed. Health Affairs, 33(2), 216-221.

Roski, J., Bo-Linn, G. W., & Andrews, T. A. (2014). Creating value in health care through big data: opportunities and policy implications. Health Affairs, 33(7), 1115-1122.

Sweeney, E. (2017). AAMI: Cybersecurity standards help manage IT risks. Web.

Elderly Falls Research In Geriatric Nursing

In order to successfully address the issue of injuries associated with the falls among the elderly, a systematic approach needs to be maintained throughout the project. The following paper describes the process of project implementation. The areas covered in the paper are the detailed description of project phases, the allocated timeframe, the equipment required for the process, and the possible expenses along with the intended funding sources.

Implementation Process

The implementation phase consists of four steps. During the first step, the interviews will be designed. Since the interviews present an opportunity for the researcher to obtain relatively uniform answers to a question from all participants, the clearly formulated research goals will assist the design process (Gerrish & Lacey, 2015). Some of the questions can be fairly straightforward and will narrow down the possible answers. They will include the assessment of perceived consistency behind the participants’ knowledge of fall prevention. Such approach will contribute to the clarity of results during the next phase. The second category of questions will allow for a detailed account of the individual experience. They will cover the specific examples of the fall prevention methods. All questions will also be tested during this phase to determine whether they are clearly formulated and generate the responses with necessary information. The criteria for inclusion of the papers serving as a baseline for the retrieved information will also be developed and tested at this stage. Finally, since the latter stages require data processing using the specific software tools as well as specialized transcribing equipment and text decoding solutions, the design step also includes the search for resources provided by affiliated organizations (Parahoo, 2014).

The second step is data collection. During it, the participants that fit the criteria of minimal years of experience and specialization will be selected. The sampling process will be conducted with the assistance and permission of the administration of participating organizations. The expected number of the involved participants is above 30, although larger numbers may be achieved, which will benefit the reliability of the results. Once the necessary number of participants is reached, the interviews will be administered on the individual basis. The replies will be recorded and documented using the transcribing software and digitally stored (Kuckartz, 2014). Simultaneously, the articles will be chosen using a range of criteria, including the reliability of the presented material, relevance of the data to the research project, and the availability of the quantitative data that would allow for easier application of the findings to the research questions. The relevant results will be located and converted to the acceptable format.

During the third step, the obtained data will be processed. The responses from the participants will be coded using the specialized software in order to identify similar answers and group them into distinct categories. The responses limited to definite answers will allow assessing the perceived knowledge on the matter among the staff that may be used later to identify the reason behind the unsatisfactory safety rates in the facility. The descriptions of the methods used to prevent the occurrence of falls will be categorized with respect to the prevailing themes and approaches utilized by the nurses. Once the dataset is processed in this way, it will be possible to conduct a statistical analysis of the results in order to identify the preferred methods and their correlation with the efficiency as specified by the participants. Next, the data from the available literature will be aggregated to obtain an overview of the most effective intervention methods supported by the evidence. The positive outcomes of the interventions will be used as a reference point but will not be incorporated in the analysis. The data obtained from the interviews will then be viewed against the results from the academic literature to identify the possible gaps in knowledge and existing methodical shortcomings of the nursing staff.

The final step will require disseminating the findings in order to raise awareness of the current state of the issue and clarify the necessity of change. The results will be formulated in a clear and approachable way to increase understanding. The summary and the most important highlights will be printed out in the form of handouts. An event dedicated to the project will be organized in which the project team will be able to present their findings and voice recommendations on the further course of actions. While the project is aimed primarily at research rather than promotion, this step will facilitate the necessary level of awareness and create a foundation for future development in the identified direction.

Allocated Time Frame

The first phase of the project is expected to require two months for implementation, with the initial week allocated for staff recruitment, team formation, and organizational issues. During the second and third week, the necessary collaborations and partnerships with the administration of the target organizations will be established, and all emerging issues settled. The design and testing of the interviews, as well as formulation of the criteria for the involved articles, will occur for the course of the remaining six weeks. The data collection phase will require two weeks for the interviewing the participants and one month for reviewing the literature. However, since the activities can be performed simultaneously, the total time required will not exceed one month. The third step (data analysis) is the most resource-heavy and requires the involvement of complex and time-consuming instruments, hence the longest time period of three months, with the processing of the original data taking up the first six weeks and the statistical analysis and pattern detection requiring an equal time period. Finally, the dissemination of the findings will consist of one week of preparation of materials, one week dedicated to the production of printed media necessary for communicating the results, and four weeks allocated for informative events and discussion sessions. The timeframe of the entire project is, therefore, eight months.

Action Detailed Duration Total Duration
staff recruitment

team formation

organizational issues

1 week 2 months
Facilitating collaborations and partnerships 2 weeks
Design and testing of the interviews

Article criteria formulation

6 weeks
Conducting interviews 2 weeks 1.5 months
Literature review 4 weeks
Data coding and systematization 6 weeks 3 months
Statistical analysis 6 weeks
Results formulation 1 week 1.5 months
Physical media production 1 week
Events and discussion sessions 4 weeks

Required Resources and Tools

The most resource-heavy stage of the project is data analysis, which requires at least two tools – software for transcribing and coding the data, and a platform for conducting a statistical analysis. Both will be available for use by the project team once the project goals and benefits are clearly formulated. The dissemination stage would require space equipped with means of auditory and visual presentation (e.g. speakers, projector, or display). The team is expecting to gain permission for the use of conference room free of charge for educational purposes. Finally, personal devices can be used to record the participants’ responses during the interview, as their capabilities are sufficient for the purpose.

Budget

The design, testing, and administration of the interviews will be done by the team members recruited from the students on the voluntary basis and in their free time. Therefore, no funds will be allocated for salaries. The research will be conducted using open access databases and the access provided by the educational institution. Both the tools for statistical analysis and the room and equipment necessary for the organization of the activities of the third and fourth step are expected to be provided by the academic initiatives supporting non-profit educational projects (Parahoo, 2014). Therefore, the most likely source of expenses will be the phase of production of printed materials intended to disseminate the findings of the project. However, the local scale of the event and the reliance on the discussion panels (which allow using digital media) minimize the costs of the expenses to the estimated $300. Another likely area that may require funding is the data handling assistance of professional researchers in the case when the project team fails to find a participant with relevant skills. Their services are only necessary during the third phase and have an estimated cost of $1400.

Conclusion

The described project is expected to identify the most common reasons behind the high rate of falls among the elderly, locate and evaluate the most feasible strategies and methods of decreasing the amount of incidents, and raise awareness about the issue among the nursing personnel. Due to the fact that the project is largely voluntary, the expenses associated with it are minimal, and rate of participant involvement is high. Therefore, it is also expected to enhance commitment and motivation among the staff, provide the team with valuable experience, and lay the foundation for future projects in the same area.

References

Gerrish, K., & Lacey, A. (2015). The research process in nursing. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

Kuckartz, U. (2014). Qualitative text analysis: A guide to methods, practice and using software. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Parahoo, K. (2014). Nursing research: principles, process and issues. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

The Learning Of Medical Students

Summary

Assignments created to assess the learning of medical students are targeted at identifying whether the students demonstrate the expected behaviors, developed new abilities or values, acquired new knowledge with regards to the medical practice and were overall successful after completing an educational program.

To assess the student learning at the general hospital site, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is widely used. OSCEs are effective assessment tools that determine the proficiency of a student with regards to engagement with patients, communication with colleagues, as well as the exercising of sensitivity and empathy (General Medical Council, 2011). The success in performing clinical examinations and medical procedures can also be assessed with the help of OSCEs. The effectiveness of OSCEs is associated with objectivity since all students are assessed with the help of the same stations and assignments. The assignments are specific and structured in such a way that they apply to the theoretical and practical medical knowledge.

Another method of assessing students’ learning at the general hospital site included mini peer assessment tools (mini-PAT). This is a relatively new assessment method that implies the trainee’s self-assessment along with the collated ratings from the trainee’s peers (Abdulla, 2008). The effectiveness of such assessment method is associated with the students’ ability to compare the results of their self-assessments with the objective feedback given anonymously by their peers. Mini-PATs facilitate personal development, compliance with the established procedures, the accumulation of reliable information about students’ performance, as well as the overall achievement of the learning goals.

Worksheet

Elements Assessment Evaluation
Steps in process

  • Clear definition and planning of learning outcomes;
  • Assessment of learning outcomes;
  • Analysis of the assessment’s outcomes and results;
  • Adjustments and improvements according to the results of the assessment plan.

  • Definition of the evaluation’s scope;
  • Identification of the set standard that will be used in the evaluation;
  • Exploration of the student’s performance;
  • Comparison of the performance to the standards;
  • Making of the final judgment.

Focus or goal

  • The optimization of all students’ capabilities through the provision of motivation and direction for future learning (Epstein, 2007);
  • Protection of potential patients from incompetent practitioners;
  • Provision of a context for selecting successful students for further professional training.

  • Determination of quality of the medical student’s present performance, work product, as well as the use of set skills against the established medical standards (Starr, 2014);
  • • Documentation of the achievement level attained by the medical student.

Timing

  • At the end of the learning course/program;
  • The timing of the students’ learning assessment should not disrupt the educational process.

  • At the very end of the learning course.

Purpose

  • Subsequent training;
  • Feedback from peers and educators;
  • Certification of the achievement level;
  • Assessment of clinical competence (Howley, 2004);
  • Identification of students’ strengths and weaknesses.

  • Identification of whether the goals of specific initiative, assignment, or project have been met;
  • Comparison of the standards with the performance;
  • Final decision about the students’ success;
  • Identification of the value of the evaluation object (Vassar, Wheeler, & Franklin, 2010).

Provide an example

  • Clinical simulations:
  • High-tech simulations (assess teamwork, procedural skill, simulates clinical dilemmas) (Epstein, 2007);
  • Incognito standardized patients (assess real-life practice habits);
  • OSCEs and standardized patients (assess specific skills, interpersonal behavior, communication skills).

  • Utilization-focused evaluation:
  • Identification of the primary stakeholders (medical students);
  • Committing to the evaluation’s purpose;
  • Selection of the research design;
  • Data collections;
  • Interpretation of the findings;
  • Making decisions about the findings’ dissemination (Vassar et al., 2010).

References

Abdulla, A. (2008). A critical analysis of mini peer assessment tool (mini-PAT). J R Soc Med, 101(1), 22-26.

Epstein, R. (2007). Assessment in medical education. N Engl J Med, 356, 387-396.

General Medical Council. (2011). Assessment in undergraduate medical education. Web.

Howley, L. (2004). Performance assessment in medical education: where we’ve been and where we’re going. Eval Health Prof, 27(3), 285-303.

Starr, S. (2014). Moving from evaluation to assessment. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 102(4), 227-229.

Vassar, M., Wheeler, D., & Franklin, J. (2010). Program evaluation in medical education: an overview of the utilization-focused approach. J Educ Eval Health Prof, 7, 1-8.

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