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Patient Privacy, at What Price?

I often wonder if these folks who speak have any practical experience. First, define each data-sharing request. Then define data, which data, all data, does a patient know the implications of each piece of data (highly unlikely).  After that, then tell me whether the approval has to be given to the sender or the receiver, or both. What about in emergency situations? And of course the one who speaks believes all this extra administrative work is free. So let’s impose a fee on patients for all this —  in the end, we will even if it is indirect. We are in the middle of a debate, about unaffordable health care. Does anyone think that complexities like this contribute to the issue?
 
Above all, what privacy are we protecting? You are going to a provider for some medical reason. You aren’t agreeing to have your information posted on the street corner. Are we saying that we don’t trust these people and their practices? Either you want your doctor to have access to all your information or you don’t.
 
And yes, we can always find the exception, but when did we decide that privacy is more important than saving a life? If were only as easy as this witness presumes it to be.
 
Privacy rights groups debate patient consent issues in EHRs
Patients’ medical information would be better protected if patients could consent to each data-sharing request, Deborah Peel of the Patients Privacy Rights group said during a recent Health IT Policy Committee hearing. “It’s going to be easy to get continuous consent in this day and age with mobile technology and consent management systems,” she said. Deven McGraw of the Center for Democracy and Technology took a different stance, saying that reliance on continuous patient consent “relieves the holder of the data from establishing privacy protections.” Government Health IT (9/18)

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September 21, 2009 - Posted by | healthcare | , ,

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