Maintaining Confidentiality of Computerized Medical Records
Wernert, John J.
Indiana Medicine. 1995 Nov-Dec; 88(6): 440-444.
One of the most basic medical values is the sanctity of the doctor/patient relationship and the confidentiality of the communication between the physician and the patient. Another important medical tradition is the production and maintenance of an accurate medical record. In today's health care market, the needs of the payers, the providers and the patients have driven the development of the computerized patient record. the primary advantage of a computerized medical record is the ability to store vast amounts of information and handle the data more efficiently. Such speedy access to data can benefit patient care, but it also threatens the patient's privacy and right to confidentiality. Security of the computerized record poses more of a challenge than protecting the traditional paper chart. There currently is no comprehensive federal legislation dealing with the privacy of a citizen's electronic medical record. It may be necessary to sacrifice some individual privacy in order to receive the benefits of a computerized record. Risks to this confidentiality are many, but can be generally, but not totally, controlled. Acceptable responses to these threats combine technological and practical measures. It is the provider's responsibility to inform his patients of the limitations of security measures and to warn them of the potential threats to maintaining confidentiality of the medical record.
Communication; Computers; Confidentiality; Computer Security; Data Banks; Federal Government; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Care; Information Dissemination; Legislation; Medical Records; Patient Care; Patients; Privacy; Records; Regulation; Risks and Benefits; State Government; Values;
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