An article written at Pacific Standard discusses the struggle to maintain patient privacy when electronic health records are becoming the norm. To view the full article, please visit Can Privacy & Electronic Medical Records Coexist?.
A few key quotes from the story:
“…researchers have to figure out how to digitize some of your most sensitive personal information to make it easily accessible to you and your doctors without compromising your privacy before the many other parties who might also like to peek at this data. Researchers lament that it’s currently impossible to track all of the places your digital medical information travels once you leave the doctor’s office. Certainly, pieces of it are shared with your doctor’s office, your doctor’s hospital, your insurance company, your pharmacist and the pharmaceutical company that makes your medicine. Your personal information may also be anonymized and aggregated with other patients to produce data sets used by researchers or traded on the commercial market.”
“Researchers and industry innovators gunning for that 2014 deadline have to figure out how to set all of this information free — when it comes to maximizing the benefit to you as a patient — while, on the other hand, keeping it under some kind of control. And it’s not entirely clear how that architecture might look.”
“‘My big fear is that if we don’t build these systems right, people won’t see doctors,’ said Deborah Peel, the executive director of Patient Privacy Rights and the moderator of the conference discussion.”