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Interviews and Technology - Technology Used in Health and Human Services

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Interviews and Technology

Kendele Sitter

BSHS/385

10/24/16

Shawn Miller

Technology used in health and human services

Technology has exploded within the last two decades. Human services are just that, service to your client. Some clients may need more than others and some may have a harder time getting to you to retrieve their services, whatever they may be. Technology has made it possible for clients who cannot come to you, to still get in touch with you. Some of the various types of technology used in health and human services include smartphones, tablets, online support groups and crisis contacts, video conferencing, and organizational programs. Smartphones and tablets do not only allow the client to easily get in contact with you but applications are available to be downloaded for more information. For example, you can download an app that can tell you what exactly a medication does, its side effects, and what it should not be mixed with. There are also applications that are linked with clinics and hospitals that allow you to see your health records and chart. The ease of access and the applications user-friendly approaches has made it easier than ever to get any of your health information. There are also online services that cater to individuals and families who may not have transportation or a babysitter to make their conferencing appointments. These online services provide individualized chat services, crisis services, and even videoconferencing. These services provide convenience, lower cost, and most are available 24/7 ("National Institute Of Mental Health", 2016). 

Technology and support for mandated reporting, referrals, and locating and accessing resources

Health and human service provides use technology for many things. Having a smartphone or a tablet at the professionals’ finger tips allows for easy access to information and a way to document client notes in real time. If a helper is in the field it may be easier for that person to document the case situation on their tablet. The information will then be transferable as well as immediately with them, if needed. A smartphone can also be useful in helping the client find the resources they need. There are search engines, like GOOGLE, that allow you to search any place in the world. These searches provide information like location, who to get in contact with, and some even provide reviews. After getting the information on resources for the client, the helper could email for a an immediate referral if needed. Instead of waiting days or even weeks, something could potentially be set up quickly and efficiently. The use of technology on a smartphone or a tablet can also help the client get to where they need to be. If they are struggling with transportation, they could search out bus schedules or the number for a cab company. (Kincaid, PH.D., 2004)

Technology and rural clients

 Technology has now become essential for clients in rural areas. It has allowed for rural area clients to gain access to the professional and the resources they need. There are different ways the client can get in touch with the helper. For example, skype is a great way to have real time, face to face contact. It allows the helper to still use nonverbal ques as seeing through the skype video. It also allows for the client to have access to resources without the need for transportation. There are also text lines and call centers that are available 24/7 to help with clients, like rural clients, reach someone if there is an emergency.

The compliance standard

Following the compliance standard when using technology to communicate with the client, or help the client is important. The compliance standard is as follows…

  1. Use technical policies and procedures so only authorized people are allowed to see the client information or PHI.
  2. Use hardware and software to check and record any activity in the system(s) that use or track PHI
  3. Use the policies and procedures to make sure client information is secured; not altered, lost, or destroyed.
  4. Use technology security measures that stop unauthorized users from getting access to PHI

Securing private and confidential client information

There are a few ways a provider can secure client information. The provider should never use a personal cell phone for client information. If a cell phone or tablet is being used the phone/tablet should be locked with a secure password. They also make applications allowing you to encrypt messages. If there is contact with the client using the phone or tablet, the messages can be encrypted to help protect the client’s privacy. If the helper has client files in their office on their computer, the computer should also be password protected. After the helper leaves their office, the office door should be closed and lock. This is considered a double locking system.

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