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Human Implant - Advances in Information Technology

Essay by   •  October 2, 2011  •  Essay  •  495 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,285 Views

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Advances in information technology used in the healthcare system continue to evolve and accelerate worldwide. Healthcare professionals are using more efficient computers and sophisticated software to manage and process information. Nurses are using information technology in their clinical practice, research, education, and administration. Information is vital for providing proper assessment, quality of care, and efficient communication. Nurses collect and record health information extensively. The electronic health record (EHR), an individual's collection of all interactions with the healthcare system made available electronically to healthcare professionals anywhere in the country, is an example of advancements made in information technology. By having personal health information shared electronically, this may affect the privacy and confidentiality of an individual. What role will nurses play in this critical issue regarding the protection of personal health information?

In October 2004, the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) approved radio frequency identification devices (RFID) to be implanted in humans. These devices made by VeriChip Corporation, a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions Inc., are designed for several uses, such as tracking shipments and inventory by large businesses (example Wal-Mart), identifying pets and livestock, accessing secure areas, infant protection, and for VIP customer verification in certain nightclubs. VeriChip sells passive RFID systems for identification purposes and active RFID systems for local area location and identification purposes. In this case, VeriMed is the RFID Patient Identification System being used to identify patients and allowing pertinent hospital staff to access medical records. The VeriMed system uses the first human implantable passive RFID microchip. The microchip itself is a rice-sized glass capsule that contains a 16-digit VeriMed number, which acts as a link to the patient's personal electronic health record and account information. Once the hospital is registered with the VeriMed program reader, a hand-held scanner is the only equipment required to read the 16-digit number on the microchip. The VeriChip corp. have been marketing the VeriMed program by eliciting scenarios, such as, impaired speech, memory loss, loss of consciousness. Therefore, if an individual arrives in an emergency room and is unable to communicate, the VeriMed Patient Identification System identifies people rapidly and accurately, allowing access to the individual's pertinent information from the healthcare professional.

The microchip is inserted subcutaneously in the right upper arm and is a procedure that takes about twenty minutes. This procedure, including the microchip, costs about $200, although this varies. Other ongoing costs include the VeriMed Patient Registry which enables the individual to choose either the Essential Edition for $20 per year or the Complete



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