Thursday, January 27, 2005

Bush Pushes Computerized Medical Records

One of the next big initiatives of the Bush administration, according to the Guardian, will be electronic health records. Privacy, of course, will be one of the big issues to be dealt with:

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Bush Pushes Computerized Medical Records:

"...Brailer acknowledged great challenges to implementing a system available nationwide. All medical workers will need to have compatible technology, and converting records to such a system can be a costly hassle. Privacy and security must be ensured so that only those with patient consent have access to the records, he said.

Bush said he is sensitive to privacy concerns. ``I presume I'm like most Americans. I think my medical records to be private. I don't want people looking at them, I don't want people, you know, opening them up unless I say it's fine for you to do so,'' he said.

Brailer said the government needs to develop incentives to get doctors online. The government has already awarded grants to encourage the transition...."

It is very easy to say that access should only be provided if the patient consents. The reality of the healthcare system is that the information has the greatest value to the patient when the patient is unable to conset.

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