One possible ending to this scenario would be the leaking of the photographs to the media. My best friend shares this information with the Gossip Gazette leading to interest in the images. Consequently, I receive a call from the magazine seeking the rest of the photographs for a financial reward of $20,000.
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This windfall would be most beneficial, primarily due to my desperate need for a car. This ending offers an opportunity to capitalize on the images that I collected the previous night financially. Despite the allure of quick money, the choice to go ahead with the request or not has far-reaching consequences not only for my professional wellbeing but also to the hospital and patient.
Selling the images to the magazine anonymously would lead to an institution-wide panic over the management of patient information. Firstly, the hospital would realize the presence of an unidentified unethical professional. The leakage of the photos would suggest an absence of professional ethics in the institution and besmirch the reputation of the organization (Sulmasy et al., 2017). From an internal point of view, the anonymity of the professional responsible for the leaks would be in question. Consequently, employee logs would identify that I was the attending ER nurse and further investigation would realize two possible outcomes. Firstly, I am incompetent in that I allowed another staff member to collect the images. Alternatively, I would bear the blame for the leaked photographs albeit rightly so. Finally, it undermines the patient’s constitutional right to privacy.
In light of the scenario ending, the right recommendation would involve deleting the images from the cell phone and refusing to share them with any news organization. This step should also include communicating with the best friend on the importance and implications of confidentiality or lack thereof in the profession. This communication should discourage the unauthorized third party from sharing this information and deleting the image as well. This recommendation adheres to the legal requirements of the healthcare industry, where it protects and preserves the confidentiality of personal identification information concerning the patient in question (Sulmasy et al., 2017). In the first place, the incident should not have occurred. According to HIPAA, healthcare professionals must protect patient information. Therefore, the best course of action would have involved focusing on the patient rather than taking images and communicating with a friend on the issue.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Smartphones and Social Media in Healthcare
Smart electronic devices and social networking have led to a revolution in how people communicate. Rather than using conventional forms of communication, smartphone applications such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and Instagram offer professionals an opportunity to access and share information (Gagnon & Sabus, 2015). For instance, physicians and nurses can have a texting group on Whatsapp or Facebook where they share information about the workplace and operations therein. Such methods of communicating and sharing files improve the way that peers interact in the workplace. Moreover, the messages transmitted on these platforms can be directed to the public. However, one key aspect of this advantage is that the methods of communication should remain free of unauthorized third parties, especially if the information is confidential. This advantage qualifies the use of these devices in healthcare. However, mismanagement of smartphones and social media can lead to challenges in the use of social media.
The main disadvantages of social media are the constant distractions from work and the potential for mismanagement of patient information as seen in the scenario. Distractions occur when healthcare personnel absconds or undermine their professional duties due to time spent on social media (Papadakos, 2013). This problem eliminates patient-centered care. On the other hand, an organization’s failure to regulate the use of smartphones and social media presents a challenge in protecting and managing personal information (Gagnon & Sabus, 2015). Employees may act mischievously or inadvertently by collecting and sharing information with unauthorized third parties.
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