I wish to add to the note that I blogged earlier here regarding electronic health records. I wish to emphasis the extreme dangers of such EHRs.
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation incident of HIPAA violations regarding release of a patient’s confidential medical records to me when I am not the patient’s doctor, is not an isolated event. These violations happen frequently.
What I actually found out through my investigation of this incident is that the error occurred at initial intake at the hospital of concern.
Technicians take in patients’ information, I should say are suppose to gather information and enter it in electronically.
During this incident the intake technician put my name down as the PCP, Primary Care Physician.
Then the treating doctor at the CCF dictated a letter to me because my name was entered into the electronic medical record even though the patient is not mine.
One can see the enormous liability this could impose to any doctors, along with the severe violations of patients’ privacy rights.
Now, the point that I wish to emphasize is the liability for the attending hospitalist doctor that cared for this patient.
If I did not make him aware of this serious issue he would not have known that I was not the patient’s doctor so that he could actually track down who the real patient’s doctor is to get the consultation reports to the patient’s actual doctors to ensure continuity of medical care.
CCF is a tertiary care mega-center, and people go there from all over the world.
My point is, imagine the breach of privacy of patients’ private medical records that occur every single day and many are not even aware or are ever notified by the violating hospitals.
The doctor at the CCF assumed that the data was accurate. He also assumed that laboratory information was accurate too. Think about the dangers associated with that one.
What stops individuals from entering errors? Why is it when others enter errors accidentally it’s excusable but if doctors enter data in error it’s criminal?
I believe this double standard is against the law, and that it is a serious violation to doctors’ rights.
Is this just more of the non-sense agendas to entrap doctors and find fault to justify removal of their hard earned medical licenses?
So my point is this, doctors are forced to rely on and use electronic medical records for documentation of patients’ medical encounters, but so many other healthcare workers are involved in the patients’ chart to enter different information. Many of these individual have no college education or understanding medically speaking. They are barely paid minimal wage.
How do we know for sure that the information that is entered is accurate? We don’t.
I made my point. It’s all just non-sense that is dangerous to ones’ health!
Healthcare is so dangerously segmented yet the doctors are still ultimately responsible for any bad consequences that result from errors regardless of how the errors occurred and regardless of who made them; they all go back to the doctors to absorb the blame.
It is very wrong, and it must be changed.
EHRs must be eliminated from medical healthcare for more reasons then I have time to document.
Gina Reghetti, D.O.
“One totally disgusted Independent Doctor that is fed up with third parties’ interference in the practice of Medicine of the Patient-Doctor Relationship.”