Should Patients Trust Their Doctors' EMR Systems?

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Are doctors and hospitals placing financial incentives ahead of patient privacy?

Medical identity theft is becoming an increasingly serious problem and adds a whole new dimension to privacy concerns. http://www.dailyRx.com contends in its recently published Special Report - Should Patients Trust Their Doctors EMR System? - that information stored within electronic medical records (EMR) have significant privacy implications for patients and their families – potentially for generations.

To read the dailyRx Special Report discussing Electronic Medical Records, click here.
Federal Government Pushing Electronic Record Keeping
The federal government is focused on transitioning medical records into the digital age by incentivizing doctors and hospitals to install electronic systems. The un-answered question is, “will patients’ personal health information, including their genetic data, be at risk during the paper-to-digital conversion process?”

Missing Medical Records
At this point, personal health information is not particularly safe. According to the Special Report, over 260 serious data breaches have occurred during the past 18 months, exposing patient medical information. The following privacy breaches have been reported just this year:
•MidState Medical Center loses health information on 93,000 patients
•Health Net loses health information on 2 million people
•Family Planning Council in Philadelphia reports the data loss of 70,000 patients records containing information such as HIV, STD and cancer screening

The Cost of Medical Identity Theft
“This alarming pattern of privacy breaches shows a real need to take preventive measures now, before more patients are placed at risk,” said Donald Hackett, Publisher of dailyRx.com. “Medical identity theft costs an individual more than $20,000 and several months of effort. Financial damages could include losing your insurance, paying higher premiums or credit report issues,” Hackett said.

How Patients Can Protect Themselves
This dailyRx.com Special Report, part of its series, The Road to Personalized Medicine, includes recommendations from health privacy advocates urging patients to protect themselves by asking their doctors questions, such as:
1. Which third-party certification service has verified your doctor’s EMR and eRx systems?
2. When was your doctor’s PC last upgraded?
3. Who has verified the security of the doctor’s external data communications, such as the Internet?
4. Has your doctor’s office staff been certified in the latest privacy policies and procedures?
5. Who in your doctor’s office is operationally responsible and financially accountable for protecting your medical information?

About dailyRx
dailyRx.com is owned by Patient Conversation Media, Inc., an eHealth media company. PCMi is a mission-driven leader in facilitating patient-provider communications. PCMi’s consumer centric 1-800-Brands enable health providers to effectively manage their patient conversations and maximize appointment productivity. PCMi publishes The dailyRx Information Network which produces, aggregates and syndicates trusted health and medication news and videos. dailyRx addresses the underserved consumer demand for trusted health information presented in easy-to-understand language to empower patients to make more informed decisions.

To read the dailyRx Special Report discussing Electronic Medical Records, click here.
Media contact: Sean Brindley: sean(at)patientConversation(dot)com

dailyRx is a trademark of Patient Conversation Media, Inc. All other trade names are the property of their respective owners.

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Sean Brindley
sean@patientConversation.com
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