Medical Records Going p-2-p In USA

by Irma Arkus

Scientific American warns against medical offices using p-2-p software, due to the fact that sometimes, sharing files also means a certain percent of medical records ending up online.

For example, SciAm quotes researchers finding some “20,000 hospital patients from the computer of a collection agency working for the hospital. Another search turned up a 1,718-page report with nearly 9,000 patient names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, insurers, group numbers and identification numbers.” The astounding amount of personal documents and patient information that seems to be shared with the world, is thought to be a growing problem, one that may increase as Obama administration prepares to upgrade the administrative systems and have the patient information exchanged online.

This however, is a problem that will not disapppear. For one, cutting down on administrative costs by the health care industry in US is a priority, as the US-based health care industry is not only the most expensive in the world, but the most inefficient as well.

The fear of placing the documentation online, really pales in comparison to concern of further disrepair to an “industry” that currently not only tends to lose patient information, but endangers people’s health. [Scientific American]