The Role of Ethics in IT Decisions

  • James G. Anderson
Part of the Health Informatics Series book series (HI)


This chapter addresses the ethical decision-making process in health care within the context of information technology (IT). Issues covered include the most prevalent ethical dilemmas encountered by healthcare decision makers, frameworks and guidelines that can be used to arrive at ethical decision making, and the best way to handle situations where questions of ethics arises. Specific cases are used as examples, and new dilemmas that are specifically posed by the emergence of e-health care are discussed.


Electronic Medical Record Computerize Physician Order Entry Clinical Information System Behavioral Health Service Harris Interactive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Healthcare Information Management Systems Society.13th annual HIMSS leadership survey, 2002. Available: Accessed 4/22/2002.
  2. 2.
    Medical Record Institute. Fourth annual survey of electronic medical records trends and usage, 2002. Available: Accessed: 9/13/2002.
  3. 3.
    Anderson JG. The business of cyberhealthcare. MD Comput 1999; 16: 23–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Anderson JG. CyberHealthcare: reshaping the physician-patient relationship. MD Comput 2001; 18: 21–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Anderson JG, Goodman KW. Ethics and information technology: a case-based approach to a health care system in transition. New York: Springer; 2002.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Goodman KW, editor. Ethics, computing and medicine. New York: Cambridge University Press; 1998.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Anderson JG. CyberHealthcare: patterns of consumer use and barriers to Internet use in the United States. In: Business briefing: global health care 2002, vol. 2, 53rd World Medical Association General Assembly.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The increasing impact of e-health on physician behavior. Harris Interactive, Health Care News 2001; 1 (31): 1–14.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    U.S. trails other English speaking countries in use of electronic medical records and electronic prescribing. Harris Interactive, Health Care News 2001; 1 (28): 1–3.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    European physicians especially in Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark lead U.S. in use of electronic medical records. Harris Interactive, Health Care News 2002; 2 (16): 1–3.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dembeck C. Online healthcare expected to reach $370 billion by 2004., January 4, 2000. Available at Accessed October 4, 2001.
  12. 12.
    Patient/physician online communication: many patients want it, would pay for it, and it would influence their choice of doctors and health plans. Harris Interactive, Health Care News 2002; 2(8):1–4.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Available: Accessed: November 22, 2002.
  14. 14.
    Anderson JG. Health information on the Internet: let the viewer beware (caveat viewor). MD Comput 2000; 17: 19–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Anderson JG, Brann M. Security of medical information: the threat from within. MD Comput 2000; 17: 15–17.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Anderson JG. Security of the distributed electronic patient record: a case-based approach to identifying policy issues. Int J Med Inf 2000; 60: 111–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS, editors.To err is human: building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hunt DL, Haynes RB, Hanna SE, Smith K. Effects of computer-based clinical decision support systems on physician performance and patient outcomes: a systematic review. JAMA 1998; 280: 1339–1346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Raschke RA, Gollihare B, Wunderlich TA, et al. A computer alert system to prevent injury from adverse drug events. JAMA 1998; 280: 1317–1320.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bates DW, Teich JM, Lee J, et al. The impact of computerized physician order entry on medication error prevention. JAMA 1999; 6: 313–321.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Anderson JG, Jay SJ, Anderson MM, Hunt TJ. Evaluating the capability of information technology to prevent adverse drug events: a computer simulation approach. J Am Inf Assoc 2002; 9: 479–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Anderson JG. Evaluating clinical information systems: a step toward reducing medical errors. MD Comput 2000; 17: 21–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Anderson JG, Aydin CE, Jay SJ, editors. Evaluating health care information systems: methods and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing; 1994.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Anderson JG, Aydin CE. Evaluating the impact of health care information systems. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 1997; 13: 380–393.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Anderson JG, Aydin CE. Evaluating medical information systems: social contexts and ethical challenges. In: Goodman KW, editor. Ethics, computing and medicine: informatics and the transformation of health care. New York: Cambridge University Press; 1998. p. 57–74.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ash JS, Anderson JG, Gorman PN, et al. Managing change: analysis of a hypothetical case. J Am Med Inf Assoc 2000: 7: 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Goodman KW. Bioinformatics: challenges revisited. MD Comput 1999; 16: 17–20.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Anderson JG. Information technology in health care: social and ethical challenges. In: Witten M, editor. Building a man in the machine: computational medicine, public health and biotechnology, part III. New Jersey: World Scientific Publishing, 1995. p. 1533–1544.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Purtilo R. Ethical dimensions in the health professions, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1999.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Ethical issues and patient rights across the continuum of care. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: JCAHO;1998.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kluge EHW. Fostering a security culture: a model code of ethics for health information professionals. Int J Med Inf 1998; 49: 105–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. Anderson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations