Date of Conferral







Jean Gordon


Increased breach occurrences in healthcare cause concern for health information as reported by the Federal Government. Significant effort, regulations, and safeguards are in place to protect the systems used in the healthcare industry. Employee handling of security remains an area of vulnerability related to security protocols. The unified theory of acceptance and usage of technology (UTAUT) served as the model for this qualitative exploratory study with the purpose of understanding registered nurse (RN) perceptions and lived experiences related to IT security. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 20 participants from the Three Rivers Chapter American Association Critical Care Nurses. Transcribed data were analyzed with a priori codes aligned to the constructs of UTAUT and emergent themes. The emergent themes from the RNs' lived experiences revealed perceptions of IT security mishandling, including walking away from the computer without log-off, and sharing of accounts through single sign on authenticated badges. Strategic planning for the organizational IT security may be strengthened due to the insight about the RNs' workflow related to IT security. Understanding employee perceptions, expressed intentions, and self-reported behaviors to IT security allows for the ability as managers to apply that knowledge to IT security systems, access methods, and implement procedures that will provide for increased organizational IT security and increased patient confidence. The social change from this work may provide contributions to the development of IT infrastructure systems for healthcare helping to create and maintain continued access to and availability of electronic medical records and data for increasing numbers of people who need health maintenance and care.