Week 7 Discussion: Assignment Paper

Week 7 Discussion: Assignment Paper

This week, we will discuss personal communication devices and their use in healthcare. As we focus on this topic, please address the questions below in the discussion. How can the use of the nurse’s personal communication device(s) impact patient care positively and/or negatively? What are the ethical and legal implications of the use of personal devices? What does the professional literature say about how communication devices can support safe nursing practice? Week 7 Discussion: Assignment Paper


Personal electronic communication devices have both appositive and negative impact on the care of patients. In today’s highly reformed healthcare system, it is agreeable that mobile devices are being integrated more in patient care and positively impacts outcomes by increasing efficiency in communication, providing clinical resources for decision making, increasing productivity and reducing medical errors (Neft & Greenier, 2013). On the other hand, personal communication devices can negatively impact care by increasing the risk of contamination by bacteria, interference with medical equipment and wrong application of the knowledge provided by such devices which can essentially lead to medication and medical errors (Neft & Greenier, 2013).

Some of the most common legal and ethical implications range from malpractices in the clinical setting to mistakes associated with information security. In general medical practice, confidential data should only be shared with a patient’s informed consent, when required for legal purposes or in cases where failure to disclose relevant data can undoubtedly lead to harm (Yang & Silverman, 2014).  Beyond the aforementioned exceptions, all healthcare providers are ethically and professionally obligated to protect confidential data. Week 7 Discussion: Assignment Paper

Professional literature acknowledges that personal communication devices are vital for our daily lives. On the other hand, they also endanger efficiency in care settings, privacy and security, are potential distractors and the quality of patient care. According to Neft & Greenier, 2013), they can support safe nursing practice when best practices are used are guidelines to alleviate the negative implications in healthcare settings. Examples of such best practices include: encouraging the use of organization-provided devices with pre-installed apps and functions that are job-specific, creating no-cellular zones in highly sensitive areas such as CCUs, ICUs and HDUs, promoting the use of sanitizers and gloves with devices to reduce contamination with bacteria, encrypting all digital data among others.


Neft, M., & Greenier, E. (2013). An update from the AANA practice committee: application of the evidence-based process. AANA journal, 81(1).

Yang, Y. T., & Silverman, R. D. (2014). Mobile health applications: the patchwork of legal and liability issues suggests strategies to improve oversight. Health affairs, 33(2), 222-227.

Week 7 Discussion: Assignment Paper



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