As a nurse, your day is spent with your patients and their information. You review patients’ records, listen to their health histories, administer medication, and engage in therapy. It is well-known for experienced nurses that all patient information is confidential and federally protected; however, new nurses often doubt how to maintain a patient’s privacy and confidentiality in an appropriate way.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act established legal mechanisms to ensure privacy and security of medical identity and protected health information. HIPAA established security requirements for the exchange of certain health information and regulated its disclosure. HITECH magnified HIPAA to promote the implementation of electronic health records and supporting technology in the United States.

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