Health Information Technology and Privacy of Medical Information


President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law to improve health access for the people of the USA. The policy has made the growth of health informatics technology over the years. The health staff has integrated the technology into improving patient care under this policy. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was established to enhance the safety and privacy of patients’ health information. In this era of technological advancement, many health institutions have adopted transferring patients’ data electronically, and thus there is a risk of data security (Veinot et al., 2019). The ACA informatics advances the flow of patient data among practitioners and patients, while the HIPAA ensures that the data is fully protected from any risks.

Main body

The ACA impacts health information as it facilitates the practitioners to assess better treatment options for the patients. The policy encourages the health personnel to evaluate the treatment options by providing an insight into how the patients respond to the treatment (Ruffin & Hawkins, 2019). Previously before the ACA, patients who were referred to multiple specialists faced a challenge with the transmission of information between doctors. It easily confused practitioners on the appropriate course of treatment to give to the patients. With the enhanced informatics in the ACA, doctors can share information easily through a unified health record system.

It allows proper coordination of care for the individuals referred to multiple specialists. Before HIPAA, there were no security standards meant to protect the patient’s information. The HIPAA serves as a method to establish the proper protection of electronically protected health information (Mbonihankuye et al., 2019). The policy has a security tool that governs the discretion of the electronic patient’s information (e-PHI). It entails the technical and non-technical requirements that improve the e-PHI’s confidentiality.

The ACA serves to integrate new technologies into the treatment methods of patients. As new technology emerges, the ACA informatics serves as a crucial tool in ensuring that relevant stakeholders integrate the technology to benefit both the patient and the doctor. Lab-testing centers use this opportunity to report results in a portal accessible to patients and practitioners. It helps the doctors save the time that they would spend going to look for the results.

The ACA informatics improves the spread of information over time to improve the deficient areas in the diagnostic procedures. In these modern times, health personnel uses electronic health records (EHR), and thus physicians can access them from different geographical areas (Mbonihankuye et al., 2019). It increases the potential risk for e-PHI and hence the necessity of having the HIPAA to allow the new technology to improve patient care while protecting the data. The Security Rule ensures the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the e-PHI. The health care provider must identify and protect the data against any common threats to the data’s security and integrity.

Health informatics offers a wide range of opportunities to improve patients’ health and care through the ACA. As a tool for managing the operational health care programs, it can help determine the most efficient treatment form through e-PHI access (Cronin et al., 2021). The health informatics under the ACA form a basis for medical personnel to access the areas of improvement. The doctors can learn from each other through the data they share, thus improving the management of diverse clinical conditions. The ACA informatics assists practitioners in designing the best therapeutic disease management from the information they have access to within clinical practice.

However, the HIPAA general rule discourages unreasonable disclosures of the e-PHI (Mbonihankuye et al., 2019). The access to the e-PHI must be within the stipulated regulations that comply with the HIPAA requirements. A patient has an increased overall belief in the healthcare system when assured of protecting e-PHI by the relevant stakeholders. The HIPAA sets boundaries on the practitioners’ usage and release of the e-PHI. If the practitioners violate the rules, they are held accountable for infringement of the patient’s privacy.

The ACA health care informatics facilitates communication among the health providers. They can use the patients’ data to promote health care quality, improve medication safety, and report (Kolla et al., 2021). Under HIPAA, it empowers the patients to control specific uses and disclosures based on their health information. The patient has the right to evaluate and access the copy of the e-PHI and request corrections in the areas they feel doubt.

It thus gives the patient more control over their health record while also aiming to protect the patient’s privacy. The stakeholders must consider the maintenance of the appropriate e-PHI to avoid any unwanted access to the data. Training of the health personnel on the security measures helps increase their knowledge of data security protection. Stakeholders must also do a periodic evaluation to ensure the e-PHI protection meets the set standard under HIPAA.


In conclusion, the ACA allows data flow within the health sector among doctors and patients, while the HIPAA serves to ensure the confidentiality of the data. Health practitioners must be cautious with the person they share with e-PHI. Carelessness in handling e-PHI can put the patients’ data at risk, allowing unwanted access. The health staff must ensure they follow the HIPAA guidelines in handling patient health information. Training and evaluation can help increase the practitioners’ knowledge about the HIPAA guidelines.


Cronin, R. M., Jimison, H., & Johnson, K. B. (2021). Personal health informatics. Biomedical Informatics, 363–389. Web.

Kolla, A., Lim, S., Zanowiak, J., & Islam, N. (2021). The role of health informatics in facilitating communication strategies for community health workers in clinical settings: A scoping review. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 27(3), E107–E118. Web.

Mbonihankuye, S., Nkunzimana, A., & Ndagijimana, A. (2019). Healthcare data security technology: HIPAA compliance. Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, 2019, 1–7. Web.

Ruffin, T. R., & Hawkins, D. P. (2019). Trends in Health Care Information Technology and Informatics. In Advanced Methodologies and Technologies in Medicine and Healthcare (pp. 264-275). IGI Global. Web.

Veinot, T. C., Ancker, J. S., & Bakken, S. (2019). Health informatics and health equity: Improving our reach and impact. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 26(8-9), 689–695. Web.

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DemoEssays. "Health Information Technology and Privacy of Medical Information." October 12, 2022.