Thursday, February 05, 2004

Article: Electronic health records: Condition critical

Interesting article on electronic health records from that includes mention of privacy issues associated with electronic health records (EHR): Electronic health records: Condition critical: "But an EHR, useful as it may be, does not come without headaches of its own, observed Richard Shekter, a medical malpractice lawyer with Shekter Dychtenberg.

'The real issue is while the justification for enhancing patient care (through EHR) is unassailable, the means by which you have to work to protect yourself and the rights of your patients gets immeasurably complicated,' he said.

That's because health-care organizations, like the private sector, are now governed by the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), he said, a piece of legislation which was never designed to meet the needs of the medical community.

And although students in the health care sciences might think confidentiality is the hallmark of the health care system, he said, 'I'm here to tell you that is largely a myth.

'I can tell you as a lawyer practising in the health field every day I am reading the health records of 10-20 patients I�ve never met. I get automatic access to the health records of the doctor who may or may not have seen thousands of patients over a 10-15 year period.'"

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