Information sharing is great and all, but I’m waiting for spam that says “click here” and have it be a medical records release.
It simply doesn’t seem like enough thought has been put into this, and after the mess HIPAA made of things, I can’t see them being any better about this. It’ll either be too easy to get information from the database (especially for insurance companies – wait ’til their lobby gets involved), or harder than it was previously.
Thankfully, they’re not calling for a centralized database of medical records (running SQLServer! yeah!).
HIPAA is an excessive implementation of pre-existing patient privacy standards. Although, HIPAA indirectly provides lunch for me on a daily basis, because the drug reps have had to replace casual hallway pharma education/feedback with two hour private lunches that cost hundreds of dollars, HIPAA still sucks. BOO
i rather like the idea of having electronic medical records. both metrohealth and the cleveland clinic use computerized charts for their patients (the software’s called Epic, i think), while UH uses paper charts still, and from what little i’ve dealt with both systems, i much prefer working with the computerized charts. while the software’s not perfect, the charts are a lot easier to track down and access, and are much easier to read.
also, haven’t other countries moved towards more centralized databases for storing medical data? i believe denmark has a pretty impressive database of medical information on their citizens, which has proven to be a great resource for medical research (several of the papers i’ve read this year did retrospective studies using their databases), and i’d imagine that they have at least somewhat addressed the concerns of patient confidentiality and security with their records. perhaps more investigation into how they do it could help in setting up a good system for the US.