What Should Scare Us About Health IT

Shutterstock.com

Advancements in electronic health records also make our records more vulnerable to hacking.

Electronic health records can give patients significantly more power over their own health care, but a paucity of safeguards in how those records are shared and managed can also make patients more vulnerable, according to Deborah Peel, a psychoanalyst and founder of the organization Patient Privacy Rights.

Revisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, have led to patient information being shared too broadly within hospitals and to damaging and embarrassing patient information leaking out to the public, Peel said. This perceived vulnerability can lead to patients not being honest with doctors about physical and psychological symptoms or not seeking treatment at all, she told Nextgov.

In other cases, insufficient protections used by hospitals and Health IT organizations can make patient information vulnerable to hackers, she said.

Nextgov will be speaking with Peel in a live event Wednesday morning at the Ronald Reagan Building as part of our Cybersecurity series. For more information or to register to attend the event click here