Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PHI Spy, With My Other Eye...

Oddly enough, if it's not bad enough that the Chinese want to know what's wrong with you, GHIT is reporting that Wisconsin, that bastion of transparency and public reporting, is now pushing for changes to health privacy laws that would enable the sharing of patients' information such as their names, diagnoses, medications, even mental health providers, without the patient's consent!

This underscores two things that I happen to rail on a lot.

1. We need accountability and audit trails built in to any RHIO or health information exchange from the get go.

We can easily pull a credit report and find out who's accessed our credit data, we need the exact same mechanism for our health data. It's not rocket science, we already do this. Just keep on doing it for our health info.

2. We want to share our data, we really do, but only with the right people and only with our permission. Just ask us first.

Everyone already signs a HIPAA consent form when they see a doctor for the first time, just add a paragraph. Do not opt us in! We're smart people, we're allowed to drink and vote and buy guns and drive - albeit not at the same time - but for heaven's sake just ask us.

Health care providers, nay the industry as a whole, can sometimes appear to be incredibly paternalistic. I really think that's half the problem with this whole push to EHRs.


Sorry for shouting.

PS: Bonus question... what do you think is the likelihood that your medical record is currently copied somewhere in India? Hint: very bloody likely.

India is the number one destination for medical records, medical transcription and a host more medical services including case review and appeals. It's 10pm, do you know where your personal health information is?


Scott Smith said...

February 6, 2008

I read with great interest your article on privacy and electronic personal health records and thought you would find MMR of interest. MMR has contracts with organizations covering more than 30 million lives to provide our services.

Contrasting MMR to other popular EMR products, MMR is delivering the most user-friendly, convenient and versatile web-based Personal Health Record available today. Using our proprietary patent pending technologies, complete patient information including actual lab test results, radiology reports and images, progress notes and all of a patient’s charts can be uploaded or faxed with annotated voice notes and comments directly into the user’s password-secured account. Users do not need to install any special software or use any special hardware to use our service.

MMR also has integrated other advanced features, such as multilingual translation, a drug interaction database of more than 20,000 medications, calendaring for prescription refills and doctor appointments, and private voicemail for a doctor’s message and other personal uses.

There also is a special “Emergency Log-In” feature that allows a doctor to access a user’s account to view their most important medical information in the event of a medical emergency. To ensure individual privacy, specific data, such as prescriptions, allergies, blood type and copies of actual medical files or images, are pre-selected by the user for inclusion in the online read-only Emergency Folder.

In addition, MMR also includes an online ESafeDeposit Box feature that enables users to securely store any important document in a virtual “lock box” and access them anytime from anywhere using an Internet-connected computer or PDA. These documents can include Advanced Directives, Wills, insurance policies, birth certificates, photos of Family, Pets and Property, and more. MMR is clearly one of the most complete user-friendly Personal Health Records available today (I can provide details).

I would encourage you to visit MMR and set up a complimentary account. Simply go to and sign up using registration code MMRMEDIA. I would be interested in your experience and hope that you will include us in any further discussions of Personal Health Records. I could also send you more information by email or snail mail (the latter allows me to send a bit more than I’d want to clog your email with). Recently, we sent out a release about MMR Pro, which will better enable physicians to put patient records into secure, online accounts.

Scott S. Smith
Director of Public Relations
11000 Santa Monica Blvd. #430
Los Angeles CA 90067
Ext 123 (Cell: 310/254-4051)

Jaz said...

Thanks for the info Scott, I'll check it out and let you know how how it goes.

For anyone else who's interested in testing it out, here's a clickable link:

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