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Ethical Issues in Interoperability of Electronic Healthcare Systems

Iroju Olaronke Ganiat, Olaleke Janet Olusola Published in Information Systems

Communications on Applied Electronics
Year of Publication: 2015
© 2015 by CAE Journal
10.5120/cae-1626

Iroju Olaronke Ganiat and Olaleke Janet Olusola. Article: Ethical Issues in Interoperability of Electronic Healthcare Systems. Communications on Applied Electronics 1(8):12-18, May 2015. Published by Foundation of Computer Science, New York, USA. BibTeX

@article{key:article,
	author = {Iroju Olaronke Ganiat and Olaleke Janet Olusola},
	title = {Article: Ethical Issues in Interoperability of Electronic Healthcare Systems},
	journal = {Communications on Applied Electronics},
	year = {2015},
	volume = {1},
	number = {8},
	pages = {12-18},
	month = {May},
	note = {Published by Foundation of Computer Science, New York, USA}
}

Abstract

The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the past decades has led to the wide adoption of electronic healthcare systems in healthcare. This has in actual fact led to the improvement in the quality of healthcare by enhancing the collection, storage, retrieval and access to health information. In addition, the use of ICT in healthcare provides more efficient healthcare services by reducing medical errors and costs thereby increasing patients' safety and satisfaction. Moreover, patients' information can be located in more than one electronic healthcare system. This is because patients may have more than one healthcare provider or they may move from one location to another. Hence, it becomes pertinent for patients' information to be available in all electronic healthcare systems at all points of care. Thus, the seamless exchange of meaningful information amongst healthcare providers and patients at the point of care becomes very crucial. This is because the diagnoses and treatment of patients depends on the timely access to accurate patients' information such as the medical history, laboratory reports as well as radiology report. However, several ethical challenges such as data privacy, confidentiality, control of access to patients' information, the commercialization of de-identified patients' information and ownership of patients' information which are associated with the interoperability of electronic healthcare systems still remain unresolved. Hence, the acceptance and adoption of electronic healthcare systems for information exchange and use is discouraged and hindered. Consequently, the healthcare system is associated with high error rates and low quality healthcare services. Thus, ethical issues need to be addressed in the context of interoperability of electronic healthcare systems. Based on this background, this paper appraises ethical issues associated with the interoperability of healthcare systems and how they can be addressed.

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Keywords

Electronic healthcare systems, ethics, interoperability, Information and Communication Technology