The Role of Privacy in Healthcare Information Systems Technology
This paper examines today’s new Healthcare Information Systems Technology and how they affect the patient’s privacy.
This paper discusses privacy and today’s growing information systems technology in all fields, specifically on healthcare. Computerization of health care information, while offering new, viable opportunities to improve and streamline the health care delivery system, the author finds, also presents new challenges to individual privacy interests in personal health care data. He feels that technical and organizational capabilities to secure and maintain confidentiality in data must work in tandem with legislation to preserve those privacy interests while making appropriate information available for approved uses.
Concerns over the privacy and security of electronic health information fall into two general categories: concerns about inappropriate releases of information from individual organizations; and concerns about the systemic flows of information throughout the health care and related industries. Inappropriate releases from organizations could result either from authorized users who intentionally or unintentionally access or disseminate information in violation of organizational policy, or from outsiders who break into an organization’s computer system. The second category–systemic concerns–refers to the open disclosure of patient-identifiable health information to parties that may act against the interests of the specific patient or may otherwise be perceived as invading a patient’s privacy. These concerns arise from the many flows of data across the health care system, between and among providers, payers, and secondary users, with or without the knowledge of the patient. These two categories of concerns are conceptually quite different requiring different interventions or countermeasures (?For the Record,? 1997, 54).