20 May What you need to know about e-health records
Chuck Morton’s family suffered three disruptive data breaches when its bank, its credit union, and a credit card processor were penetrated by hackers on separate occasions. The laborious process of closing and reopening accounts took them weeks.
So it’s little surprise that Morton, who lives in Greensboro, N.C., and is in his late 40s, was not exactly delighted when he realized that his medical records would be computerized too.
“I don’t know who has access to that information, who’s selling it, who’s doing what with it,” Morton said. “Can you imagine someone showing up and saying, ‘I’m going to extort some money out of you?'” After discussions with his physician, Morton said he’s managed to keep his medical record largely offline.
If a recent federal law is as successful at promoting computerized medical records as its backers hope, Morton may become part of a shrinking minority of Americans. The stated goal of the stimulus bill that President Obama signed in February is sweeping and optimistic: “utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014.”
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