I have been following the privacy problem with EHRs for a while now, and I still do not understand why identifiable personal data are still stored on computers when a patients file is not active in treatment documentation or payment resolution.
I have asked this question at numerous venues and still await an answer. Is it possible to develop a software patch that would reliably remove identifiers from patients records in a fail-safe/default manner?
It seems obvious to me that in place of sensitive identifiers, a number could be assigned to the patients record and tied to a key held in a read-only flash drive, which is never left unattended and is attached to the computer.
It seems so common sense to me. If a laptop is stolen, or a computer is breached, the thief will get away with nothing but unidentifiable medical recordsvaluable to no one except researchers of causes of diseases, and the Americans who will benefit from meaningful evidence based medicines revolutionary discoveries.
What choice do we have? It is obvious to me that the ambitious HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, in his legendary clumsy way (see whirling disease in Wikipedia), has destroyed Americans trust in healthcare IT. Everyone outside the insurance industry and HHS knows intuitively that without consumers trust, bold and expensive plans for them will go nowhere, and the promising future for medicine will have been sacrificed for short-term political and monetary gain by a handful of third-party stakeholders.
Darrell Pruitt, DDSFort Worth, TexasTo submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here . Please include your name, title and hometown.