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Ethical Considerations for Home Care Personnel in the Digital Age (2024)

presented by Nathalie Rennell, MSN, RN, CNE

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Nathalie Rennell receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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With all of the advances in technology during the digital age, it has become increasingly difficult to determine the best course of action in a given home care situation. While information on which to base the course of action can be obtained quickly and almost effortlessly at times, the volume of it can be overwhelming and confusing. Taking a moment to look at the ethics of the situation can assist in the provision of home care that is safe, confidential, and trustworthy. This course starts with a review of selected ethical principles and then provides practical examples for three principles that are especially important to home care personnel practicing in the digital age.

Meet Your Instructor

Nathalie Rennell, MSN, RN, CNE

Nathalie Rennell currently cares for her medically fragile grandson. Prior to making this transition, she was an instructor in the RN-BSN/CEP programs and on the honors faculty with the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU). She was also faculty at the Phoenix Institute for Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA).…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. What is Meant by the Terms “Ethics” and “Digital Age?”

There are several definitions of the term “digital age” as well as differing understandings of the terms "ethics" and "ethical principles," depending on the field to which they are applied. After a general overview of the terms digital age, ethics, and ethical principles, this chapter will focus on the definitions used for the purposes of this course, the ethical principles of greatest concern in home care, and ethical leadership.

2. How Might Confidentiality Be Compromised in Home Care?

Confidentiality is an often discussed issue in health care. Communication technology continues to advance, which can put respect for patient privacy at risk, e.g., where and how patient information can be shared. How does one know they are keeping patient information confidential? This chapter identifies potential scenarios when confidentiality could be compromised in the delivery of home care services.

3. How Might Autonomy of Home Care Personnel be Impacted by the Digital Age?

Individual rights have long been considered important in American society. Yet, there is an inherent struggle between exercising those individual rights and when those rights negatively impact the lives of others. Additionally, the rise of social media has blurred the lines about which personal information is appropriate to share and with whom the information is shared. This chapter takes a look at individual expressions of thoughts and feelings by home care personnel and their potential impact on the person and on the rights and privacy of those under their care.

4. What is the Role of Veracity (Telling the Truth) in Home Care?

Trust is needed for an effective relationship between a patient and care provider. One might argue that patients need to trust the information given to them in order to follow the plan of care. This chapter will explore actions and behaviors that can be taken by home care personnel to establish and nurture trusting relationships.

5. Emerging Technological Advances that Could Pose Ethical Challenges for Home Care

We’ve gone from the industrial age to the digital age, so what is coming next? The future holds many changes as new technologies develop. What might these changes be and how might they impact home care? What will the challenges be in trying to determine what the right thing is to do in a given situation? This chapter will discuss selected emerging technological advances, their potential use in home care, and ethical challenges that might accompany their use.

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