Friday, June 12, 2009

Who Owns the Healthcare Record?

Do you own your healthcare record? If you own your health record, then you should be able to decide where this information goes and who has access to it. How does this change if your healthcare record is electronic? When your healthcare record is on paper, it's easier to conceptualize who has access to it. Try digging up an archived medical chart from the dungeons of a hospital. It may take days to pull up an old chart from a buried box. However, the minute your healthcare record is digital, access becomes immediately available (even if your chart is digitally archived).

The idea of a "virtual" healthcare record may be difficult for some people to understand. Try explaining how e-mail works to an older adult who never uses a computer. The concept of the Internet and cyberspace may be incomprehensible to many individuals. Many people have trouble with concepts like online data storage, server farms, ASP, etc. If you use an EHR that uses an ASP model, how will you answer your patient who asks, "where is my digital health record stored?"

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