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-11. Information systems technology has brought about a renaissance in medical recordkeeping and diagnostic capabilities. Health care informatics have evolved at a mind-boggling rate over the last twenty years. However, the new technologies bring with them concerns over patient privacy rights, information security and other ethical issues.
For instance, an employee with the proper security clearance can look up medical information on the patients he is treating, but he can also look up ex-girlfriends, neighbors and anyone else his security clearance allows him to access. Because of such abuse, many information systems professionals run random system checks to see which employees are accessing records and for what reasons. However, it is not feasible to think that every employee can be monitored all of the time. Health care informatics make a patient's medical information accessible to anyone that might need it, but they also make it vulnerable to prying eyes that don't.
Even worse, information that is on a computer system may be vulnerable to access by outside parties that were never intended to access the system, like "hackers" for instance. Such people could perform mass identity thefts, since social security numbers and even credit card numbers are often stored in health care information systems. This would result in unimaginable losses for patients, as well pose a huge liability for the health care provider. ...
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