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Paper Example on HIPAA Education for Nurses

5 pages
1332 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Research proposal
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The enforcement of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security regulations among healthcare practitioners is an essential function that must be promoted by all healthcare practitioners today. Additionally, with the elevated number of data breaches through ransomware and cyber-attacks on medical insurance and healthcare providers, the need for safeguards against protected health information (PHI) disclosure is at its peak. This research proposal will determine why there is a need for additional HIPAA education for nurses. Moreover, this is an effort to improve communication between all the healthcare stakeholders as provisioned by the HIPAA Act (1996).


Research performed by Liu, Musen and Chou (2015) certified that healthcare data breaches in the United States had elevated significantly over the past decade. Also, the research illustrated that compared to other industries, data breaches are the costliest in the healthcare sector (Liu, Musen & Chou, 2015). Furthermore, this occurrence has taken place despite the increased efforts of medical training institutes and healthcare institutions to train nurses on the importance of observing the HIPAA privacy and security requirements CITATION Reb14 \l 1033 (Herold & Beaver, 2014). As such, it is evident that the healthcare sector, today, requires more HIPAA compliance education for all registered nurses (RN).

Problem Statement

Despite the increased efforts employed by the government through the Department of Health to promote compliance with the HIPAA regulations today, numerous nursing practitioners are still charged with exposing patients confidential medical information.

Purpose of the Change Proposal

The adoption of more effective measures of training nurses on how to conform to the HIPAA provisions will enable them to deliver apt and professional healthcare services to patients. Also, enhanced HIPAA training will promote the attainment of positive healthcare outcomes for patients by averting the disclosure of their PHI. Furthermore, the training will facilitate the attainment of good communication between nurses and patients and in its entirety promote the professionalism of nurses.

PICOT Formulation

Population: Nurses functioning in mental health institutions addressing diverse mental health problems for patients.

The issue of Interest: Despite the increased efforts employed by the government and medical regulation programs to train HIPAA regulations to nurses, there is still an increased exposure of confidential patients data in mental health institutions.

Comparison: There is increased exposure to clients health data to the public today, compared the level of exposure to similar information that was recorded before the enactment of the HIPAA (1996).

Outcome: The expected outcome is that there will be a significant reduction in the level of patients data exposure after more training on the importance of HIPAA compliance is performed on nurses.

Time: The time taken to implement the intervention among all the RNs in the healthcare institutions is six months.

Literature Search Strategy Employed

Validation training method will be an effective methodology if employed as an effective intervention for impacting HIPAA compliance regulations among RNs functioning in the healthcare institutions. The effectiveness of this methodology has been certified by research that was undertaken by Soderlund, Norberg, and Hansebo (2014). Additionally, the methodology puts in perspective nurses experiences and ratings in their working environment through the implementation of knowledge attained through clinical training CITATION Sod13 \l 1033 (Soderlund, Norberg, & Hansebo, 2013).

Literature Review

The need to perform additional training among RNs can be supported by a publication that was authored by Cannon and Caldwell (2016). Additionally, the research stated that there is an elevated statistic of HIPAA violations cases among students taking healthcare education courses. Also, the research validated out that HIPAA violations by medical students are understudied as well as under-discussed CITATION Can16 \l 1033 (Cannon & Caldwell, 2016). It is also evident that most RNs today lack essential skills to be fully compliant with the ethical behaviors that govern their performance while functioning in medical institutions.

For instance, according to research published by Farohhzadian, Nateri, Borhani, and Zare (2015), the current practice of RNs is not evidence-based. Consequently, this can lead to the development of critical deficiencies in quality and safety of patients in medical institutions. Additionally, the example of such deficiencies includes the lack of HIPAA compliance skills, which eventually leads to the exposure of confidential clients medical information. Also, according to a research article featured on the HIPAA Journal, in 2014, the healthcare industry was responsible for 42.3% of all data breaches recorded in the healthcare sector CITATION HIP14 \l 1033 (HIPAA Journal, 2014).

Additionally, in the same year, the healthcare providers in medical institutions were considered to have been responsible for the exposure of PHI of over 8 million persons in the United States. Also, this statistic was in over 322 medical data breaches that were recorded in 2014 CITATION HIP14 \l 1033 (HIPAA Journal, 2014). Furthermore, research performed by Renee Cocchi (2016) illustrated that the most common form of data exposure through HIPAA violations takes place in the form of social engineering CITATION Ren16 \l 1033 (Cocchi, 2016). Additionally, social engineering is considered to be centralized planning that is performed by persons in a bid to change their future development as well as behaviors in the society.

Change Nursing Theory

The Lewins three-step theory will be the most effective theory of change that can be employed in the implementation of interventions for this research. Additionally, the method contains the unfreezing, change as well as the refreezing stages CITATION Ste15 \l 1033 (Cummings, Bridgman, & Brown, 2015). Additionally, the unfreeze will be the first stage, and it will entail preparing the RNs to accept the importance of HIPAA training as a method of creating positive change. The change step will entail the actual implementation of HIPAA training on the RNs. Also, it is plausible that there will be minor resistance to adopting change by the RNs.

Nevertheless, such resistance will be mitigated by promoting good communication between the HIPAA compliance training tutors and the targeted RNs. Refreeze will be the last stage and it will be characterized by the acceptance of change in medical institutions. For instance, at the refreeze stage, the targeted RNs will have already accepted and embraced the importance of HIPAA compliance and implemented patients confidentiality provisions when engaging in communication.

Identification of Potential Barriers to Plan Implementation

Two primary barriers might occur during the implementation of the intervention among the targeted population of RNs. Additionally, the first barrier will be the lack of sufficient financial resources to cater for the training of a large number of RNs functioning in the medical institution in the targeted region. The second barrier will be resistance to change that might be evidenced by the RNs at the start of the program. Nevertheless, to mitigate the barriers, the researchers will seek funding from the Department of Health to conduct the study. Additionally, change against HIPAA training among the RNs will be managed by providing proper information about the importance of the training to the targeted RNs. Moreover, this can be performed by holding HIPAA compliance awareness seminars for the RNs, where they can be enlightened on the importance of the research. Additionally, such seminars should be held before the start of the actual research.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Cannon, A. A., & Caldwell, H. (2016). HIPAA violations among nursing students: Teachable. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(12), 41-48.

Cocchi, R. (2016). What Is The Most Common HIPAA Violation? Journal of Medicine.

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2015). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewins legacy for change management. Human Relations, 69(1), 33-60. doi:10.1177/0018726715577707

Farokhzadian, J., Nayeri, N. D., Borhani, F., & Zare, M. R. (2015). Nurse leaders Attitudes, Self-Efficacy and training Needs for Implementing Evidence-Based Practice: Is It Time for a Change Toward Safe Care? British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, 7(8), 662671.

Liu, V., Musen, M. A., & Chou, T. (2015). Data Breaches of Protected Health Information in the United States. JAMA, 313(14), 14711473.

Herold, R., & Beaver, K. (2014). The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance, Second Edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

HIPAA Journal. (2014). Major HIPAA Data Breaches Make 2014 a Landmark Year. HIPAA Journal. Retrieved from

Soderlund, M., Norberg, A., & Hansebo, G. (2013). Validation method training: nurses' experiences and ratings of work climate. Internation Journal of Older People Nursing, 9(1), 79-89. doi:10.1111/opn.12027

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