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Centralized Data Repositories - What are the Benefits and the Risks?

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:22pm

The following question is posed by Dr. Tracy Monk, a BC physician:

I was wondering about a central question which never seems to have entered the discussion about the approach to E -medical records and ­ who should be the data manager?

The idea of all of us getting stand-alone systems which leave us to be the data managers ­ which means the patient record is lost if computer stolen or goes down plus all security concerns etc ­ doesn¹t seem ideal.

It seems to make more sense to have a centralized, standards based (HL7 or equivalent ) data repository which I would simply connect to when I am with patient. In this model I am not a data manger, not responsible for the security and encryption and firewalls etc. Isn¹t this what the HMOs have? What do they have in UK?

It seems to me that the priority should be to create the centralized data repository ­ esp one that can create a truly cumulative lab report by PHN ­ that would be great ­ sounds like something truly useful to connect to and then could have electronic lab ordering and prevent waste. Then I could have all the useful bits of an electronic record without all the worrisome and irritating parts.

Why would I want to be a data manger? Am I concerned about something that is irrelevant?

Would love to hear your thoughts.


If you have ideas about data repositories and would like to comment on this posting, please click on the 'Comments' link below.

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