Lisa R Nelson
Medical Informatics and Health Information Technology Consulting

"I work in creative collaboration with smart, inspiring people on projects that contribute to the healing of the world.”

  -   Louise Hay

"Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to"

  -   Greg Anderson


Legal, Ethical & Social Issues in Medical Informatics
MED INF 407 / Karin J. Lindgren, JD
Course objectives

This course is intended to provide MMI students with a solid foundation on a variety of critical legal and ethical issues that professional medical informaticists will need to consider in their work.  The objectives for this course are to:

  • Identify Protected Health Information (PHI) and understand the range of permissible uses and disclosures allowed by HIPAA
  • Develop ability to analyze, criticize and construct rigorous policy-oriented arguments for the appropriate handling of healthcare data
  • Explain basic government regulations and legal principles applicable to healthcare data management, i.e. how to keep your CIO out of jail
  • Summarize The Joint Commission's accreditation interest in medical informatics and data handling
  • Identify the key components of an effective compliance program, including a demonstration of regulatory informatics
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and thought leadership regarding future legal and ethical regulation of medical informatics in the U.S. social landscape
  • Develop a basic facility with legal terminology to be in position to know when, and how, to consult effectively with corporate legal counsel
Text and selected readings

Course artifacts

Criticism of Symposium on the Ethical and Social Challenges for Medical Informatics

HIPAA Security and Privacy Issues Assessment

HIPAA Violation Corrective Action / Preventive Action Update

Legal, Social and Ethical Issues For Consideration During CDA Implementation Guide Public Comment

Reflection statement

This course provided an instructional view into legal issues relevant to the health information technology industry. The course was designed to equip a health information technology professional with commonly needed legal knowledge. It also provided a larger view, painting a broad context for future navigation into legal specialty areas. The course was very enlightening. It provided a general appreciation for this unique dimension of health information technology. The complexity involved in legislative matters brought to light for me the importance of having legal counsel on any management team. Whether running a hospital or a growing a software business, the legislative issues affecting health information technology play an important role. From intellectual property protection to privacy and security rules, legal issues represent some of the major risks to be managed for all types of organizations. Learning about the legal issues affecting patients and their data added a personal component to the knowledge gained. This course raised my ability to spot and address the legal issues present in my HIT environment and reduced my reluctance to seek additional expertise when facing legal issues.