Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Case study

A few weeks ago you were hired as Director of Patient Education for a regional medical center

located in the Midwest. The medical center includes three community hospitals ranging from 175 to

321 beds, four outpatient clinics, and five centers of excellence. The five centers of excellence are

located at two of the hospitals and focus on heart disease, cancer care, care of the aging,

neuromuscular disorders, and women’s health.

In your position you are responsible for coordinating patient education across the medical

center, including all programs and print materials. Your staff includes three BSN-prepared nurses,

one located at each of the hospitals. As one of your initial steps in this new position, you have

completed an assessment of the current educational offerings and staff satisfaction with the quality

of the current programs. One area of need stands out: The professional staff report that a growing

number of patients have been joining online social networking sites. One staff member said, “I think

they are all helping each other get online.” These patients are now raising new and sometimes

difficult questions about treatment options. None of the staff has explored any of the online sites,

and they are afraid to join for fear that they could become involved in some sort of violation of the

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Discussion Questions

1. 400 words. Describe how you would develop a staff education program and create an outline of key points that you would include.

2. 200 words Develop a patient handout that the staff can use to educate patients on the effective use of

online social media materials. Within the pamphlet speak on key information regarding the program and the benefits of various form of social media in health promotion and disease prevention. Include pictures in the pamphlet to appeal to your customers.

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