Thursday, July 22, 2010
When is a medical record not a medical record? When the Obama adminstration get's PC with it
If the roll out of 21st century health care could have been more poorly handled, I'm not sure how. From a slow bleed over the spring involving an ill-conceived re-imagination of American health care delivery by the Democrats we are now presented with statements from President Obama's electronic medical record (EMR) czar that a medical record does not have to actually reflect what your medical history is.
Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said in an interview with CNS news (see here) that patients can choose to omit procedures such as abortions, positive HIV tests, or other perceived embarrassing information from their electronic health records (EHR).This is concerning in that a purported health record reporting a patient's comprehensive history could be edited so as to be politically correct. As a provider it would be important (for instance) to know that a patient had hepatitis or HIV before scheduling major elective procedures so as to protect oneself and operating room staff from unnecessary exposure or even advise patients to avoid some procedures altogether. Much as a physician has an informed consent with a patient, a provider must be aware of any and all material issues when delivering care.