With more and more companies going electronic, the security of the internet is under investigation. In the old days, medical records used to be stored in a doctor’s office. Now, records can be stored electronically and this move has great benefits. Data can be shared between doctors, or doctors can view x-ray results from their own home. Storing data electronically also takes up less physical room. However, the move to electronic storage has its faults as well.
No matter how much effort is put into the security of online data, there is always going to be some risk that the data can be compromised. Even if the risk is small, it still exists. As we can see, paper data is not even as secure as we hope it is.
Saying his medical records have periodically been breached, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday called on hospitals to better protect patients’ privacy amid a growing list of celebrities, including his wife, who have been victims of snooping at a Los Angeles hospital.
California first lady Maria Shriver is one of more than 30 high-profile patients whose confidential records were improperly looked at by an employee at UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Link)
If we cannot secure data on paper, how can we expect to secure it digitally? This is just another reason why everyone needs to be careful with what they put on the internet. Once it goes up, it can technically exist forever. As a patient, you have a right to know where your medical files are being stored and who can access them. Do not be afraid to ask questions.