Deborah Peel, MD discusses how important it is for consumers to know that their electronic health record information is protected.
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Host: What should people be asking their doctors about their healthcare information? Dr. Deborah Peel: Well, that's really tough. The first thing that people should ask their doctors about is will they ever disclose their health information without informed consent? You've got to ask your doctor, in effect, if they have an electronic medical record system, does the vendor data-mine the record? It's very disturbing, but most technology, electronic medical products today allow data mining. In fact, data mining is often a part of how the vendors profit. When they have a contract with a clinic or a hospital, part of the contract allows them to own or share your data. So the first thing you have to ask your doctors, do you have electronic health record system? If so, what's the contract with the vendor? Who else is this data disclosed to or shared? We actually have forms on our website, www.patientprivacyrights.org on the front page that you can take to your doctor and you can say, under the laws of this state and medical ethics, I am asking that you not ever disclose my or my family's medical records without consent and you can get them to sign on the guided line, yes or no? You can take this to hospitals, pharmacies and doctors and begin to put them on notice. Because, it's just a shame, we have to be so careful. Most of the technology out there today does not in any way protect your rights to keep your information private.