Legislative protection of sensitive personal data in the electronic health record

The electronic health record is an evolving idea determined as a long-term electronic maintenance of information about an individual’s lifetime health status and health care. The contribution of the electronic patient record in quality of health care, in reduction of health services’ costs, in increased efficiency of health care professionals and other users of the electronic health record, justifies its value and importance in the health care environment. The automation of all processes that contribute to the benefit of health care services, to critical decision making regarding patient’s health and life, to education and research, makes electronic records’ security an essential issue that ensures the validity, reliability, and availability of medical information but also the patient’s right for privacy in his personal sensitive health data. It is evident that the patient’s right to confidentiality in his personal data cannot be underestimated in the implementation of the electronic health record. The determination of ethic and legal guidelines and criteria relevant to the electronic acquisition, processing, and communication of personal sensitive health data, is vital. A potential disclosure of patient’s personal data puts at risk the relationship between patient and physician or nurse but also the one among the members of the entire society. Patients may be afraid or reluctant in revealing critical information concerning not only their personal health but also the public health.

Category: Volume 47, N 2
Hits: 845 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2008
Authors: Maria Malliarou , Joseph Liaskos