NURS 6411 Week 8 Database Administration and Security Essay Assignment

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NURS 6411 Week 8 Database Administration and Security Essay Assignment

Consider the following news reports:

UCLA began mailing letters June 5 about the theft of a laptop computer from a locked van at a UCLA blood drive last November. The computer held a database containing personal information from some 145,000 people who have donated blood and platelets to the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center since 1985 (Moster, 2004).

Over 600 patients at the University of California, San Francisco, are being notified of a possible data breach that occurred when a hacker obtained e-mails containing their personal information. UCSF officials say the breach occurred in late September 2009 when a faculty physician in the School of Medicine fell prey to a phishing scam. According to officials, the physician unknowingly provided the user name and password for his/her e-mail account in response to an e-mail message that appeared to come from the university’s internal computer servers (HIPAA Security and Privacy, 2009).

A data security breach of Utah’s state health records was far larger than first reported, with hackers from Eastern Europe now believed to have gained access to private information of some 780,000 patients (Reuters News Agency, 2012).

Health care organizations are continually concerned about unauthorized individuals accessing patient information and medical records. Without proper database security, it can easily happen. Database administration and security is vital to both data maintenance and the integrity of an organization. Insufficient data security poses a significant risk to patients.

This week, you examine the critical importance of security in health care databases and how security risks can be mitigated by addressing common integrity problems in database design.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze strategies for addressing specific database security and integrity risks
  • Analyze the importance of security and integrity in health care databases

Establishing security standards that protect patient data is an important step in the database design process. Protecting the confidentiality of personal health information is not optional; it is mandated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA violations can result in both fines and legal consequences. Failing to protect private information can also damage a health care organization’s reputation as well as result in the loss of patients’ peace of mind.

For this Discussion, you consider the clinical information systems presented in the case studies below and identify the security and integrity problems and risks that need to be addressed.

Case Study 1:

A busy academic hospital has grown rapidly and acquired multiple clinical information systems that interface with each other. Physicians and practitioners require access to each system and frequently have workflows that require access to multiple systems at the same time. In addition, practitioner responsibilities often require them to complete documentation or access clinical information at home and during off hours.

Case Study 2:

An increase in the number of clinical research studies and the use of undergraduate students as research assistants for subject recruitment was perceived as a risk for a medium-sized academic hospital. Students were enrolled at the hospital-affiliated university but still required a credentialing process to be able to access clinical areas of the hospital and clinical systems. The hospital wants to meet IRB and HIPAA research regulations, and to exceed HIPAA’s minimum necessary principle.

Case Study 3:

As a large multi-specialty academic medical practice, providers are often utilizing laptop computers and mobile devices in patient care and research-related activities. Tracking, securing, and managing the numerous devices to mitigate loss, theft, or other breaches is important to the enterprise.

To prepare:

  • Review the information in this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on the security and integrity of clinical information systems. Consider the importance of security and integrity, as well as the consequences of failing to address these aspects of database design.
  • Select one of the case studies above to examine further for this Discussion.
  • Determine the security or integrity problems in the clinical information system in the case study. What legal, ethical, and organizational risks do these issues pose?
  • Begin to formulate a potential solution or strategy to address the security and integrity problems. How would this solution or strategy mitigate the security or integrity risks you identified?

By Day 3

Post a description of the security and integrity problems identified with regards to the case study you selected. Select at least two specific risks (legal, ethical, or organizational) related to the case study and propose a solution or strategy to address each. Justify your response.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days. Respond to those who chose a different case study than the one you selected. Provide additional insights on the problems, risks, and proposed solutions. You must also include an analysis of why it is important for a clinical information system to maintain both security and integrity.

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