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When Patients Fear EHR
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:26:59 AM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
@Jeff - I agree, EHRs are definitely here to stay. Is there any business that, having digitized, went back to paper? But I don't believe healthcare organizations are doing enough to promote security. They must do more. Sadly, I don't think that will happen until there's a huge Target-like breach. Then heads will roll and, "suddenly," resources for more healthcare security will become available at more organizations. That's not to say some healthcare orgs don't get it. Some do; some are doing a great job of securing their data, networks, devices, etc. But many, sadly, are not from what security experts in healthcare tell me. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:24:20 AM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
I think the answer is secure EHRs, to be honest because I don't see healthcare going back to paper. The reasons I hear for witholding information from healthcare providers is 'big government' and 'intrusiveness' more than EHRs, necessarily. They are concerned their healthcare information is up for grabs by so many, that once "private" information is entered into a hospital system it becomes fodder for government, research, and educational institutions. They're also concerned about the weakening of doctor-patient confidentiality.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:19:40 AM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
Breaches in EHRs can definitely be life-threatening. If the hacker is not malicious and steals your data expressly to sell it (for the $50 we see bandied around), then someone else could use your medical ID for treatment, surgery, medications, etc. When you, the real patient, need surgery or other healthcare services, you could discover you cannot get treated because "you" owe the hospital thousands of dollars (in unpaid deductibles); you "have a drug problem" (courtesy of a doctor-shopping alter-ego), or "your record" shows you can't be pregnant because your insurance paid for a hysterectomy last year. Or it may show you have no allergies -- when, in fact, you are very allergic to a regularly prescribed antibiotic, for example, leading to health complications or even death. 

It's one reason we cannot let healthcare organizations slide on the amount and resources they spend on security. When we see studies like this -- Healthcare IT Security Worse Than Retail -- we must demand better.
DarrellP725
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DarrellP725,
User Rank: Moderator
7/28/2014 | 11:25:45 PM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
EHRs are both more expensive and more dangerous than paper records, Outside a totalitarian regime, that is a hard sell.
DarrellP725
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DarrellP725,
User Rank: Moderator
7/28/2014 | 11:22:33 PM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
Regardless what EHR stakeholders want - regardless what providers want. When patients lose their trust in EHRs - which is happening rapidly - the game ia over. They will simply keep secrets from healthcare providers, which will increase the danger of EHRs even more.

You say that there are no reasonable alternatives to EHRs, yet some providers are already rejecting digital. As costs and danger continue to accelerate, what is to keep more from following? Patriotism?
Jeff Jerome
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Jeff Jerome,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 11:18:26 PM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper

vnewman - Electronic Medical Records are here to stay.  Sure there is potential risk but there is a strong set of security wrapped around them.  The benefits far outweigh the down side and paper records are to arcane to consider staying with, even if some believe that they are not safe.

vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 10:49:07 PM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
If by trapped you mean there are no reasonable alternatives to electronic medical records then yes I mean trapped.
DarrellP725
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DarrellP725,
User Rank: Moderator
7/28/2014 | 10:03:14 PM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
Let me see if I understand you correctly: Regardless of the ever-increasing cost and danger of EHRs, Americans are trapped?
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 7:16:51 PM
Re: Defending the value of EHR versus paper
I don't think it's authoritarian at all.  It's a fact.  This IS how it is.  Hopefully it will change but the threat will never go away.  This is true of electronic anything.

I think the public has accepted it - what's the alternative?

So do you suggest going back to all paper records then?  That's an impossibilty.  

With great progress comes great challenges.

I'm not discounting dangers of data breaches just like I wouldn't discount the danger of driving on the highway, yet millions of people do it every day.  You take risks.  This is life.

Do I think security breaches are an issue?  Of course?  Do we scrap the whole system because of it?  I think not.  You try to make things better.  But you have to move forward not backward.

But if you don't want to take that chance, stay off line, don't use credit cards and don't give any of your personal information to anyone.  We all have that choice.
DarrellP725
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DarrellP725,
User Rank: Moderator
7/28/2014 | 5:48:15 PM
Re: Wall of Shame
According to Ponemon, here's the difference between paper breaches and digital: Only 5% of identities are breached from paper records, and most of these are because of improper disposal. On the other hand, hackers specifically target identities.

This is fun.
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