Table of Contents
Description of the Events in the News
Legal duty to report health data refers to the manner in which the clinicians have to provide information about patient record to the state or federal public health agency, so that it abides by the laws. The laws ensure that the leakage of vital patient records in the public is prevented (AHIMA, 2017).
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reduced providing information on the quality of healthcare in 2016. However, there is a law that was passed in 2014, which makes it mandatory for the department to disclose information to the Department of Health and Human Services. The department is at discussion with the government to undertake new ways of disclosing information on health records of the veterans (persons who served in the military of America). It is also working on bringing improvements in its website so that the veterans can easily get information regarding quality care. Moreover, the information provided on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services makes it possible for around 9 million veterans to retrieve data on medical centers and the quality of care (Slack, 2016).
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Another law has been passed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for reporting clinical trials of drugs and devices which are used in healthcare. It is important to provide information on clinical trials to the government so that the public can know about the effectiveness of the drugs and medical devices in curing diseases. Additionally, the researchers will be aware of the existing trials made on the advancement of medical devices and drugs. This will restrict unnecessary duplication of research activities (NIH, n.d.). Moreover, the public and healthcare providers can participate in the process of clinical trials by giving suggestions for improvement. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also stated about legal action which will be taken in case any research organization does not report properly about the clinical trials (NIH, n.d.).
Gathering and Submitting Information
The necessary information on deaths and rates of re-admission, along with quality of healthcare provided in the hospitals were submitted by the VA department to the Department of Health and Human Services. Moreover, the webpage which is available not only provides information on public hospitals but also on private healthcare organizations. However, after the occurrence of the VA scandal, Congress made it mandatory to disclose more information on health data (Slack, 2016).
The information about the clinical trials is to be submitted in the website ClinicalTrials.gov which is operated by NIH. The need to upload information is mandatory irrespective of the fact that whether the trials are supported by the government or any private organisation. However, the NIH does not highlight specific ways of conducting trials on the website (NIH, n.d.).
Improving Status Quo
The status quo of providing more effective information by the VA department can be increased if data on health quality is provided on the page hospitalcompare.va.gov. This task has not been yet accomplished because VA has not yet accepted the terms of the Congress to disclose more information on the webpage (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016). Similarly, NIH can also mention certain ways that can be used to conduct the clinical trials in a more effective way (The University of North Carolina, 2016).
- AHIMA. (2017). Homeland security and him. appendix a: Mandatory reporting–balancing patients’ privacy rights with public health interests.
- NIH. (n.d.). HHS takes steps to provide more information about clinical trials to the public.
- Slack, D. (2016). VA quit sending performance data to national health care quality site.
- The University of North Carolina. (2016). How to use the internet to find & understand clinical trials.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2016). About quality of care.