Is the Medical Establishment the Best Guardian of Your Medical Data?

David C. Kibbe, MD, MBA and Vince Kuraitis provide more food for thought on the e-CareManagement blog:

Drs. Mandl and Kohane begin their recent article in NEJM with the statement that “large corporations are seeking an integral and transformative role in the management of health care information,” and then warn that this “will profoundly affect the biomedical research enterprise.”

At issue for the authors is who controls the information about you and me, our health and healthcare data. Without coming right out and saying it directly, they worry that data in the hands of consumers and patients made possible through PCHR service providers like Google and Microsoft could be dangerous to the nation’s health because of “commercial interests”.

So, they are warning us, too.

But, let’s examine the presumption that your personal health information is safest in the hands of the medical establishment (incumbent service and health care provider organizations and the biomedical research enterprise). The real question that their article in NEJM begs is:

how good a job of stewarding our health data is the medical establishment doing?

The answer is, of course, not so good. If they were, one might expect much higher levels of safety and quality of care than we now experience.

Read their entire article on e-CareManagement blog

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