Mutt Media | Daily Bone 5.12.09 Health Information Managment – Invasion of privacy or career opportunity? The answer is, well…both.

The government has long been pushing for the computerization of patient health care records in a centralized system. Like anything that is government-mandated, our tendency is to question how this will affect us and our privacy.

We, as Americans are acutely aware when we feel our rights are being violated in any way, shape or form. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution allows us to pose these questions and challenge when we feel the need.

But that’s someone else’s blog topic. Today, I’d like to talk about the growth opportunities that you may find when you look under the hood of this seemingly “Big Brother-esque” move toward the globalization of our personal health care informaton.

Doctors have already begun using EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software as the government’s efforts become more of a glaring reality. Pretty soon all physicians will be required to comply and will even be entitled to receive monetary incentives for their timely compliance.

What does this mean for us as patients? Well, more cohesive and comprehensive communication between all of our providers. I know from my many years as Practice Administrator in a medical practice that sometimes patients can be forgetful about informing their physicians or omit certain facts when providing their health history. Something as simple as taking a baby aspirin every day can have real relevance if you need to book a surgery, but not everyone may think of this as being on a “medication” when asked to provide this informaton during a pre-operative visit.

One of the advantages of an electronic healthcare system that can be accessed by all of our health care providers is that they will all be working from the same information pool. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to carry our films (x-rays, MRI results etc) from visit to visit; nor would we have to “request” that our medical records be mailed from office to office.

Efficiency, going “green” and seamless healthcare aside, EMR is also paving the way for new job opportunities where they haven’t existed. So, although change can be difficult, it always brings growth and, if you’re optimistic, opportunity. Our healthcare records should never be released without our explicit consent. That goes without say, but I think the cynic in all of us has to wonder if confidenitality will trump governement and their need to know.

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