VT: New Patient Information System Sparks Privacy Debate

Taylor Dobbs reports:

…  a new policy set to take effect this summer would make it possible for doctors not involved in a given patient’s care to view their file. The “global consent” policy will make it so that once a patient signs the form authorizing a release of their file, any doctor’s office connected to the system will have access to that record.

“If you sign it for anybody to get it, everybody can get it,” said John Matthew, a doctor at The Health Center in Plainfield.

Matthew said he isn’t comfortable with the idea of recommending the new policy to his patients, but the company that designed the policy and the regulators tasked with overseeing it both say it is safe for patients.

Read more on VPR.

This global consent system is not a system I would want to be part of or ever endorse. Anyone who has read this blog regularly knows that there is an ongoing problem with unauthorized access to patient files – for  “snooping” and to steal patient information for tax refund fraud schemes. Notwithstanding assurances offered by its proponents, the global consent system, even with auditing and monitoring in place and any requirements for individual usernames/pwds (if required), increases the risk of improper access to a patient’s electronic records.

Yes, maybe it’s a bit more paperwork, but I prefer to let patients decide with whom their information should be shared on a case by case basis. There is just too much risk of oversharing of information here for me to think that this is a good system.

Thanks to Eric McCann who alerted me to this news item. 


About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.