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20% of RNs Had Breaches of Patient Data at Their Organization

A recent survey conducted by the University of Phoenix College of Health Professions indicates registered nurses (RNs) are confident in their organization’s ability to prevent data breaches.

The survey was conducted on 504 full time RNs and administrative staff across the United States. Respondents had held their position for at least two years.

Almost half of RNs (48%) and 57% of administrative staff said they were very confident that their organization could prevent data breaches and protect against the theft of patient data, even though 19% of administrative staff and 20% of RNs said their organization had had a data breach in the past. 21% did not know if a breach had occurred.

The survey confirmed that healthcare organizations have made many changes over the years to better protect data and patient privacy, with most of the changes occurring in the past year, according to a quarter of RNs and 40% of administrative staff.

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Those changes have occurred across the organization. The biggest areas for change were safety, quality of care, population health, data security and the digitalization of health records.

67% of RNs said privacy and data access policies were being implemented to better protect patient data, while data surveillance was an initiative to improve data privacy and security according to 56% of respondents. 59% of RNs said their organization was implementing role based access to medical records.

69% of administrative staff who took part in the survey said privacy and access policies were being updated, 60% said their organization was implementing role based access, and 55% said data surveillance was a major focus area.

Privacy and security training is being provided to RNs and administrative staff, although 34% of administrative staff and 23 of RNs do not recognize the benefit of such training; however, half of administrative staff respondents and two in five RNs felt they could benefit from further training in his area.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.