HIPAA Blog

[ Monday, February 13, 2006 ]

 

Interesting article: here's something interesting from HealthLeaders on the ways electronic medical records may lead to the use of "automated smart communication." Anything from reminders to schedule follow-up appointments to alerts of medication interactions could be triggered automatically with EMRs.

Of course, there's a dark side to the digitization of personal medical information. The more your information is available for your own use and the more it is interconnected to allow for the benefits such as automated smart communicaiton, the greater the likelihood that it can be accessed for bad purposes, or at least the greater risk to the privacy of the information. And in addition to the potential costs to your privacy, there's the even more direct cost of the EMr systems themselves, which have some effect of pricing out of the market some providers. Will EMR technology be a technology only for the rich (increasing the "digital divide")? Healthcare itself is pretty democratic; I'm more concerned about the tradeoff between privacy risks and potential medical benefits. As always, it's an issue of balancing the best healthcare possible with the best privacy possible, which means giving up some of each.

Jeff [11:23 AM]

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