[ Tuesday, February 26, 2008 ]


NYC Patient Record Tracking: New York City has developed software that it will give to doctors to aid them in tracking their patients' medical records. Obviously, there are some privacy issues, although the Times gives them pretty short shrift by attempting to explain them away. For example, there's this:

"The system will also allow the health department to get general data from health
care providers on, say, how well patients are controlling their blood pressure, but the department will not have access to specific information on any individual patient. That information will be restricted to doctors and their patients."

Right. Patients can theoretically "see exactly who has gained access to the records and to lock certain data behind a firewall," but query whether they'll know who gained access if it was done via a hospital account, or an account at a big group practice. And how easy will it be to firewall the information, and how robust is the firewall?

Personally, I think it's a fine idea, as long as there's a real, workable patient opt-out system. But I think the privacy rights advocates should be all over this, much more vocally than they were on the Wisconsin privacy law.

Jeff [10:26 AM]

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