Google Health: A time saver, but privacy slayer?

May 29, 2008

Two giants in the online world, Microsoft and Google, have released web-based applications to manage health records. And while these programs could make managing your health records easier, experts wonder about the effect on a patient’s privacy and safety.

Laurinda Harman, Ph.D., professor and chair of health information management at Temple University’s College of Health Professions, says medical identity theft continues to be a growing problem for patients.

“The crime occurs when someone uses a person's name and sometimes other parts of their identity — such as insurance information — without the person's knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods,” said Harman, adding that the consequences of someone else using your medical records could be life-threatening.

“If someone were to have a blood transfusion using my name, when I go in to have that same procedure, I could get the wrong blood,” she said.

Much like you would continuously check your credit scores and bank statements to prevent financial ID theft, Harman says the same rules apply to medical records.

“It’s important for everyone to keep track of their own records, and to really look at their bills to make sure there’s nothing suspicious on there.”

Source: Temple University

Explore further: Drug and device firms paid $6.5B to care providers

Related Stories

Rape stats poorly reflect reality

Jun 22, 2015

Statistics on violence – particularly towards women and children – are highly politicised in South Africa. Typically, they serve one of two purposes: either they provide government with evidence of a ...

White House: Action needed now to slow climate change

Jun 22, 2015

Failure to act on climate change could cause an estimated 57,000 deaths a year in the United States from poor air quality by 2100, the Obama administration argued in a report released Monday that warns of ...

Can personal devices interfere with hospital care?

Jun 16, 2015

Thousands of patients die each year in hospitals across North America due to medical errors that could be prevented were doctors and nurses provided with instant access to patient records via wireless technology. ...

Recommended for you

Drug and device firms paid $6.5B to care providers

2 hours ago

From research dollars to free lunches and junkets, drug and medical device companies paid doctors and leading hospitals nearly $6.5 billion last year, according to government data posted Tuesday.

Running with prosthetic lower-limbs

Jun 29, 2015

Researchers at Bournemouth University have been looking at the impact of lower-limb prosthetics on competitive running, specifically looking at whether athletes with prosthesis are at an unfair advantage when running against ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.