Data Protection and Nursing; A Technical and Organizational Challenge
The application of computers in health care and in particular in nursing offers new possibilities for improved communication and coordination. These possibilities look very attractive and already now we see a rapidly increasing use of computer facilities throughout the whole health care system. We should realize however that application of computers also has its disadvantages. The flexible communication facilities introduce an increased risk for unauthorized access to data that might harm the privacy of the patient. Storing data in a computer memory and processing it automatically is quite attractive from different points of view (direct support of the patient care process, management support, quality assurance, etc.), however we should realize that computers might fail either because of problems in the hardware, the software or the operations. Such failures might lead to loss or modification of data. When computers are used intensively in the health care process, we become quite dependent on their facilities. Failures in the information system can lead to interruptions in the service. In those situations the essential data might be unavailable and we should think on beforehand what to do in such situations.
KeywordsSmart Card Data Protection Health Information System Usage Integrity User Identification
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