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Is Securing EMRs really that important?

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are gaining in use and popularity throughout the healthcare world. We can benefit a lot from EMRs in terms of sharing information between doctors, hospitals, and even across state lines. And updating the information becomes a lot easier and timely. But the question I raise today is not whether EMRs will make an impact in the future or not, but rather do EMRs really need to be protected?The purpose of EMRs is to share medical records more readily with other health professionals. So, if the idea is to share this information more openly with others, will securing those same records make it more difficult to share? My opinion is that securing these records really is that important, and that by securing these records, it will be easier to share -with the right people. But what happens if the wrong people access either accidentally or intentionally?If we’re sharing the wrong information with the right people, or sharing the right information with the wrong people, how is the EMR going to help anybody? Wrong information can cause drastic consequences (was that A+ blood type or B-? ), and right information with the wrong people can cause identity theft, tabloid news, or even blackmail/extortion threats which we’ve recently seen in the news.It’s imperative that we protect the information integrity, so that when shared with the right people, it improves patient care. Identity access rights, protecting stored records, and securing the information while in use are all part of the equation. The more these functions are automated and integral to the infrastructure, the more secure those EMRs become, and the sooner a person gets caught when trying to get EMRs if they’re the ‘wrong’ person.Do you want your medical information shared with the wrong people?

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