HIPAA and Information Technology
There are several advantages of having a standardized medical record database. They will offer medical facilities more and easier access to patient records. When a patient decides to change health care providers, it would mean easier and faster care for the patient because the database could be obtained from anywhere. For example, if my son was taken to the hospital, they would be able to pull his record and know that he has no known allergies and that any treatment that they give him would not harm him. The time saved by providers that have access to a database allows them to spend more time with the patient.
Having a medical record database can also provide more information to the patient than they have ever had in the past. Use to, it was harder for a patient to have quick and easy access to their own information which would make it harder for the physician to communicate with the patient. A medical record database helps a patient keep up with their own health which makes them a better partner in their health maintenance.
Having such a large database like this available does encounter issues with HIPAA. There is always the possibility of pulling a patient’s record by accident which will open a window of opportunity for identity theft which is a violation of the privacy act. This can lead to possible lawsuits by the patient for breaching confidentiality. Also, if there are two people with the same name in the system and we are not careful enough to catch this, then the wrong information can be read and treatments can be given to the wrong person. If wrong treatments are given to a patient, it can cause more health problems that they already have.
I feel that the healthcare industry is behind other industries because it is a demand for patients to have hard copies. For nurses, it has always been easier and quicker to grab a folder than to push a laptop around. For a transition from paper to computers, it is a lot harder...