Monday, December 04, 2006

Health Hazard: Computers Spilling Your History - New York Times

Health Hazard: Computers Spilling Your History - New York Times: "Doctors in the United States were far less likely than doctors in other industrialized countries to use electronic records. In Britain, 89 percent of doctors use them, according to a recent report in the online edition of the journal Health Affairs; in the Netherlands, 98 percent do.

Technology experts have many explanations for the slow adoption of the technology in the United States, including the high initial cost of the equipment, difficulties in communicating among competing systems and fear of lawsuits against hospitals and doctors that share data.

But the toughest challenge may be a human one: acute public concern about security breaches and identity theft. Even when employers pay workers to set up computerized personal health records, many bridle, fearing private information will fall into the wrong hands and be used against them."

One possible solution is to use a "bottom-up" approach, where each patient owns their PHR and controls access to it, rather than a "top-down " approach.

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