online prescription solutions
online discount medstore
pills online
buy lorazepam without prescription
xanax for sale
buy xanax without prescription
buy ambien without prescription
ambien for sale
buy modafinil without prescription
buy phentermine without prescription
modafinil for sale
phentermine for sale
lorazepam for sale
buy lexotan without prescription
bromazepam for sale
xenical for sale
buy stilnox without prescription
valium for sale
buy prosom without prescription
buy mefenorex without prescription
buy sildenafil citrate without prescription
buy adipex-p without prescription
librium for sale
buy restoril without prescription
buy halazepam without prescription
cephalexin for sale
buy zoloft without prescription
buy renova without prescription
renova for sale
terbinafine for sale
dalmane for sale
buy lormetazepam without prescription
nobrium for sale
buy klonopin without prescription
priligy dapoxetine for sale
buy prednisone without prescription
buy aleram without prescription
buy flomax without prescription
imovane for sale
adipex-p for sale
buy niravam without prescription
seroquel for sale
carisoprodol for sale
buy deltasone without prescription
buy diazepam without prescription
zopiclone for sale
buy imitrex without prescription
testosterone anadoil for sale
buy provigil without prescription
sonata for sale
nimetazepam for sale
buy temazepam without prescription
buy xenical without prescription
buy famvir without prescription
buy seroquel without prescription
rivotril for sale
acyclovir for sale
loprazolam for sale
buy nimetazepam without prescription
buy prozac without prescription
mogadon for sale
viagra for sale
buy valium without prescription
lamisil for sale
camazepam for sale
zithromax for sale
buy clobazam without prescription
buy diflucan without prescription
modalert for sale
diflucan for sale
buy alertec without prescription
buy zyban without prescription
buy serax without prescription
buy medazepam without prescription
buy imovane without prescription
mefenorex for sale
lormetazepam for sale
prednisone for sale
ativan for sale
buy alprazolam without prescription
buy camazepam without prescription
buy nobrium without prescription
mazindol for sale
buy mazindol without prescription
buy mogadon without prescription
buy terbinafine without prescription
diazepam for sale
buy topamax without prescription
cialis for sale
buy tafil-xanor without prescription
buy librium without prescription
buy zithromax without prescription
retin-a for sale
buy lunesta without prescription
serax for sale
restoril for sale
stilnox for sale
lamotrigine for sale

No More Messy Handwriting: The Move to Electronic Record Keeping in the Health Care Industry and Concerns about Liability and the Security of Patient’s Information”

If you get sick today and have to see a doctor that is not your primary care physician, it is often the case that you have to fill out a thick stack of forms that explains your medical history.  If it is a more serious procedure, doctors have to get in touch with your past health care providers, oftentimes multiple past providers, to collect information on your medical history and try to piece it together.  Soon it will be the case that doctors will be able to have access to all of that information in a standardized form with just a few swipes of their fingers on an iPad.  This is due to the easy transferability of electronic health records.

The New Health Care Law and Electronic Health Records

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in March of 2010, calls for new regulations to go into effect in 2012 that will increase the use of electronic health records (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010).  Summarily, the new law “will institute a series of changes to standardize billing and requires health plans to begin adopting and implementing rules for the secure, confidential, electronic exchange of health information. Using electronic health records will reduce paperwork and administrative burdens, cut costs, reduce medical errors and most importantly, improve the quality of care (The Affordable Care Act – Implementation Timeline).”  Electronic records can be stored electronically and easily shared among health care providers in ways that paper records cannot.  These same benefits also raise concerns about the security of the sensitive information contained in health records.

The liabilities created through the extensive use of electronic health records are far and wide. A variety of events could trigger a potential suit.  The servers where information is stored could be hacked or a laptop containing the information of patients could be stolen.  Suits over patient information that is stolen can be brought under the tort theories of invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality (E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems, 24 Berkeley Tech L.J. 1523 (1558-60)).  Patient information is also protected by statutes such as the Health and Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPPA) and a variety of state laws (Id. at 1559).

Potential Litigation From the Increased Use of Electronic Health Records

On the receiving end of this litigation would be health care providers who input and store the information.  Intuition is in favor of protecting patients’ privacy at all costs.  This has the potential, however, of an excessive burden on doctors.  The potential number of victims affected by a security breach involving electronic health records is far greater than one involving physical records.  A pocket-size hard drive could easily hold the medical history of a doctor’s entire catalog of patients.  This exposes health care providers to a deluge of lawsuits.  A balance needs to be found between protecting the privacy of patients and protecting doctors or hospitals from an onslaught of lawsuits brought by all of their former patients.  It also would not be far fetched to think that in the event of information being hacked and stolen, liability might extend to the developers and manufacturers of the software and hardware that is used to store the records.

Solutions to Increase Security and Prevent Lawsuits

One idea is to incorporate the liability into malpractice insurance for health care providers.  This should not greatly increase their premiums since the benefits from electronic health records, namely higher quality of care, should work to offset some of the additional costs from the security risks of electronic health records.  Another possibility is to incorporate a cap on the liability that doctors are exposed to through tort reform.  This is unlikely, as tort reform did not make it into PPACA and is an issue that is politically volatile.

In their article, “E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems,” Professors Sharona Hoffman and Andy Podgurski discuss a two part method for protecting patients and health care providers that utilize electronic health records.  The first step is to require that the government heavily regulate electronic health record systems.  This will ensure some aspect of quality control.  Having a high standard for the software and hardware that is used to keep electronic health records will ensure that health care providers use robust and secure tools.   Second, government agencies should develop clinical practice guidelines to ensure that a high standard of care is used across the board when working with electronic health records (Id. at 1562).

The government may also have to implement a public campaign to raise support about the use of electronic health records.  As much as 75% of people are skeptical of how safe their information would be if stored in electronic records.  Despite the worries that arise from the increased use of electronic health records, the benefits that come from increased quality of care demand that electronic health records be adopted quickly in the health care industry.

About the Author

Robert Barrow

Robert Barrow is a 2L at Columbia Law School.
blog comments powered by Disqus