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ITGS portfolio Privacy and security issues that arise when using Health Information Technology to manage your information.

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Introduction

Portfolio Assignment #2 Privacy and security issues that arise when using Health Information Technology to manage your information. Area of Impact: 3.3 Health October 5, 2010 Word Count: 999 News Item: http://healthinsurance.about.com/od/healthinsurancebasics/a/health_IT_overview.htm Presentation of the Issue Personal Health Records (PHR), Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) are all forms of the Health Information Technology (HIT). HIT has become very popular in the past few years because it can benefit both the client and the doctors by managing health care information in an efficient way. Advantages that come along with using HIT would be reducing the amount of paperwork needed for medical records, reducing errors in prescriptions when reading doctor's handwriting and reducing the employment salary by eliminating workers that maintain medical records. Although many articles have agreed that "The advantages of EHR are extensive and no one can argue that point. 1"There can be consequences and disadvantages when using this type of technology to store personal information. Just like most communication systems, issues regarding security and privacy can arise. Problems like that can occur because many organizations, doctors, specialists and family members have access to your health information. Another issue that may apply would be the equality of access and the ability to actually use this system. Most family households have access to Internet, but a lot of seniors don't, and the elder population is what makes up most of the clients. Not only would most seniors not be able to access it, users who are not tech-savvy might not be able to access HIT, or it might take the user a while to utilize the system and understand the capabilities of it. Information Technology Background of the Issue Health information first started out to be stored in folders and files in offices and hospitals, which can be very dangerous and hard to manage. Now that new technology is being discovered every second of every day, we no longer need the large amount of space and the complicated pile of paperwork to keep personal health information of individuals in the society. ...read more.

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Over the past several years there have been security breaches in hospitals and doctors' offices resulting in medical identify theft. Access to your personal information may allow thieves to bill for medical services in your name. Through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, the federal government has established strict rules to protect the privacy and security of your electronic information. HIPAA gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. Your doctor, other health care providers and your health plan are required to keep your information private by teaching their staff how your information may and may not be used and shared and take appropriate and reasonable steps to keep your health information secure. http://healthinsurance.about.com/od/healthinsurancebasics/a/health_IT_overview.htm EMR Advantages and Disadvantages Article by MandaSpring (14,839 pts ) Edited & published by Anurag Ghosh (37,078 pts ) on Dec 16, 2008 As a brief overview, let me take the time to give an EMR definition in a nutshell. EMR (Electronic Medical Record) is an information sharing system for both patients and doctors. The doctors add their data, research, prescriptions, etc. into this web based file and the patient, as well as the patient's other doctors, have access from anywhere in the world. As with any new system there are advantages and disadvantages. This technology can make storing and sharing information easier and more efficient not to mention convenient. But unfortunately, there are disadvantages with EMR. EMR Advantages The advantages of EMR are extensive and no one can argue that point. Just some of the over all benefits that EMR provides doctors and patients world wide include, but are not limited to: 1. An enhanced quality of care due to the amount of information at hand from every available and viable medical source. 2. Faster and more efficient diagnosis and treatments. ...read more.

Conclusion

They see the tagging as some kind of "Big Brother" operation. Another group, the No VeriChip Inside Movement, likens VeriChip as "cataloguing" humans similar to the way the Nazis have tattooed numbers on the skin of concentration camp detainees. Popular Hollywood films on privacy incursions (e.g. The Net, Public Enemy No. 1) increased further people's paranoia about personal data. Where do we go from here? Without doubt, we have the technology to make EMRs standardized and efficient. Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault and similar online personalized health information accounts are enabling patients to take control of their medical records. The main issues that need to be overcome are data security, protection of privacy and gaining the confidence of the patients. It doesn't seem evident that the use of RFID and similar tagging chips will become acceptable or popular anytime soon. However, we live in a digital world and we cannot hold back progress indefinitely. With improved technology and data protection tools, let us hope the EMR issue will be resolved soon. http://www.submityourarticle.com/articles/Katt-Mollar-5424/electronic-medical-records-54667.php Health Information Privacy Your Health Information Is Protected By Federal Law Most of us believe that our medical and other health information is private and should be protected, and we want to know who has this information. The Privacy Rule, a Federal law, gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individuals' protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. The Security Rule, a Federal law that protects health information in electronic form, requires entities covered by HIPAA to ensure that electronic protected health information is secure. http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html 1Spring, Manda. "EMR Advantages and Disadvantages." Bright Hub. 16 Dec 2008. 27 Sept 2010. <http://www.brighthub.com/health/technology/articles/7402.aspx> 2Spring, Manda. "EMR Advantages and Disadvantages." Bright Hub. 16 Dec 2008. 27 Sept 2010. <http://www.brighthub.com/health/technology/articles/7402.aspx> 3Mollar, Katt. "Electronic Medical Records-The Pros and Cons." Submit Your Article. 11 Apr 2009. 20 Sept 2010. <http://www.submityourarticle.com/articles/Katt-Mollar-5424/electronic-medical-records-54667.php> ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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