Friday, January 27, 2012

One Identification Number

With the United States investing billions of dollars to convert paper-based medical records to electronic ones, proponents say that universal patient identifiers would be a great way to connect patients to their medical data.  

According to The Wall Street Journal, privacy activists don't believe that having the identification numbers would be beneficial.  

"They say that information from medical records already is routinely collected and sold for commercial gain without patient consent and that a health-care ID system would only encourage more of the same," stated the article.  

Some health care officials are for the idea of everyone having a unique identification number. However, there are some that oppose it completely.  

Michael F. Collins, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, believes it would be a safe and efficient way to handle health-care, and a great way to reduce misidentification.  

Dr. Deborah Peel, on the other hand, feels that privacy would suffer, saying that patients wouldn't be able to control who sees, uses or sells their health data.  

Would do you think? Would you be comfortable with having only one identification number that housed all of your medical data? 

To read the full article that includes the pros and cons of having it, click here.  

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.

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