An issue debated within the 2008 presidential election and again within the 2012 election, which affects all Americans is the issue of privacy with health information technology. Americans trust banks, airlines, utility companies and even retailers with their personal data, but it becomes an issue when it comes to medical information. People are even willing to file their tax returns electronically, so why are we so concerned with privacy when it comes to our medical records?
Many believe that technology seriously infringes on their medical privacy rights and these same people want strict protection for privacy when it comes to any type of health IT legislation. On the other side of the issue, many also believe the risks are worth it considering the benefits of giving health care providers access to a health information exchange network.
Finding the best way to balance both the health information technology and patient privacy can solve the entire issue. The reason the medical field wants to use technology to allow access to medical records is to make the process more efficient and make their jobs easier. This issue isn’t about someone getting your bank account information and stealing your money. It’s about making it easier for medical providers to access necessary information to help heal those with an illness.
With quicker access to medical records and a central system for all the records, doctors can provide proper medication without an issue with allergies and they can look at the patient history to help diagnose the illness at hand. Medical providers need every tool possible to help treat their patients in the best possible way. Providing the right health IT doesn’t have to infringe on patient privacy.
If all medical records were stored in a central location with access granted only to health care providers, issues with privacy will no longer be a concern. When a medical provider buys used equipment, such as Bio Surplus used lab equipment, the privacy concerns won’t be there. This allows both the patient and the medical provider protection and the access they need to medical records.
Privacy concerns are normal and warranted, but there’s a compromise that benefits both sides of the issues. Whether your medical provider chooses to use new or used equipment, it’s necessary to protect patient privacy. A centralized health information system will help give doctors access to the information they need without causing privacy issues.