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Personal Freedom, Pizza and Privacy

Posted Jun 02 2008 5:03pm

Have you seen the pizza video on the ACLU website?

http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

It’s a fantastic example of how technology can interfere with our personal freedoms. I was thinking about this while reading about the mandatory electronic health records that are coming down the pike in some states and probably nationally.

I am all for streamlining access to records for those who deserve access. I am also all about keeping down healthcare costs. But I am concerned that by gaining a little streamlining, we are giving up a great deal of personal freedom.

Recently, a local radiology center revamped their web-based system so that doctors could more easily gain access to their patient’s diagnostic imaging. The problem with their system is that we were also able to see the records of every patient that had ever been in that center — whether or not we had ordered the films. It was like accidently peeking at the medical charts of every doctor in town.

Not good.

I love being able to see my patient’s diagnostic information quickly but I question whether it is worth the loss of privacy.

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