How the Threat of PHI Breaches Decreases Quality of Care

Thu, Mar 25, 2010

Fact Finder

Plus, your chance to ‘eavesdrop’ on security breaches among healthcare providers across the nation.

Any health information professional who uncritically sings the praises of electronic health records should check out this psychiatrist’s op ed piece in The Wall Street Journal.

EHRs have the potential to actually decrease quality of care “if patients fear sharing information with their doctors because they know it isn’t private,” writes Dr. Deborah Peel, a practicing psychiatrist who’s the founder of Patient Privacy Rights. “When patients realize they can’t control who sees their electronic health records, they will be far less likely to tell their doctors about drinking problems, feelings of depression, or exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.”

And there’s ample evidence that patients already doubt that their medical records are private and secure, despite those long HIPAA forms they routinely sign in doctors’ offices. For example, fifty-nine…

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