In the Midwest (WA) we looked at an alternative to the PCEHR: a shared electronic health record not owned and operated by the government.
This seemed like a good solution as it would solve some of the problems health professionals have with the PCEHR, including secondary use of the uploaded information (data mining) by the government. I wrote a couple of posts about this topic here and here.
Unfortunately our Medicare Local seems to have taken full control of the shared health record system. This means that, again, health professionals and patients have no say in what happens to their data once it is uploaded to this alternative e-health system. There is an advisory committee (just like the PCEHR) but the Medicare Local board calls the shots as they pay the bill – with tax dollars.
Yesterday I received this email from a colleague about e-health developments in the UK:
(…) the Govt there is making it compulsory for all GP records to be uploaded to a central repository for the purpose of selling off to private companies or researchers – with patient ID included! Or worse still, selling off all data to private companies… Whilst there is lots of talk about a ‘patient controlled eHealth record’ here in Oz, it worries me that the wording around PCEHR suggests data can be used by Govt or other agencies. (…) I do wonder if people would be more concerned if they knew their records could be used for over and above the stated purpose of ‘reducing medication errors.’
As long as governmental (or other) bodies want full control of our health data, e-health will not take off.
We need enlightened leadership: it is about facilitating health care delivery and sharing ownership and responsibilities between all parties involved.