Monday, August 3, 2009

While We're On the Subject of Statist Idiocy, Theft and Medical Records...

If you march into your doctor's office and demand (or even ask nicely for) your medical records, the surly bitch* behind the counter has to give them to you.

Why? Because they are yours. Your medical records are your property and you own them.

So why don't you get a say in this government-inspired crusade to turn your paper records into bits and bytes?

When you go to a doctor's office for the first time, they make you sign a release listing the people with whom your medical affairs may be discussed. But apparently the privacy regulations don't cover changing your records from paper to a digital, interchangeable format that can be accessed from any facility in the USA.

While I understand the advantages of networked systems**, I wonder why We The People don't get to opt out of a system that could have our personal medical data stolen by Russian hackers and sold to anyone who wants a list of all the people in Nebraska with a prescription for Oxycodone.

I'm also not thrilled about the records coming into the possession of nosy and officious government burocrats who decide that since Joe Smith took Valium for nerves 10 years ago, he can't fly a plane or own a gun.

Finally, the glibness with which meatpuppet talking heads throw around the term "digital medical records" just irks me. Its pretty clear they've never had to make 2 stakeholders agree on a common standard for anything, to say nothing of every doctor's office in the country.

*Apologies if you work in administration in a medical facility and are a sweet angel whose voice is likened to the choirs of heaven. There should be more of you and its a pity you don't work in my neighborhood.

**Blah blah blah, waste fraud and abuse. Blah blah blah improved efficiency. Blah blah blah, better understanding of the patient. Some of these are good arguments, but the downside of digitizing the nation's medical records isnot getting enough news.


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