Privacy And Patients: Having Patience With Change

Successful analysis of the rule will require time and attention from staff in virtually all departments in a health care organization that handle identifiable medical information. Because of its scope, the rule will affect virtually all areas in an organization. That’s because the rule requires the development of privacy protection procedures and the training of all employees to comply with the procedures.

HHS officials issued the proposed privacy rule because Congress failed to enact a national privacy law, authorized under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The proposed rule governs only the …

Now That EMR Is Mainstream, A Look Back

mhTo hear it from a couple of dozen enthusiastic vendors, the concept of putting personal health histories on a safeguarded Internet site is logical and laudable.

Providers get access to vital information in emergencies and better information in the everyday situations that call for all the clues they can get to diagnose a problem.

Personal medical records are appearing on the Internet in various forms and stages of development. The field, which scarcely existed a year ago, is exploding with activity. “It’s very early on, but in a couple of years, we’re going to look …

Is Medical Data Really Safe In The “Warehouse?”

maamaThe American Medical Group Association’s plan to partner with a major pharmaceutical firm and create a national data warehouse is being met with reactions ranging from wholehearted support to wary skepticism.

“I think this is a glimpse into the future, that we can substantially improve the quality of care,” says Molly Joel Coye, M.D., CEO of the Health Technology Center of Menlo Park, Calif., a not-for-profit medical technology assessment group.

“I am skeptical that they won’t be identifying people,” says Betsy Mahoney, coordinator for the Medical Privacy Project of the Maine Civil Liberties Union. “The …