Friday, July 6, 2012

The Double-Edged Sword...

...of electronic medical records.  From a court case in Florida:

July 3, 2012 — Florida cannot enforce a law that prohibits physicians from asking patients whether they own a gun because it infringes on their First Amendment right to free speech, a federal judge in Florida has ruled.
US District Court Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami issued a temporary injuction against the Firearm Owners' Privacy Act for that very reason in September 2011. Last week, Judge Cooke made the injunction permanent, and in a final judgment filed yesterday, she declared the Florida law unconstitutional.
The problem isn't the doc asking if you own a gun and giving you advice on how to keep your guns out of the hands of children. The problem is that all of this information will be entered into a federal system, under your name. There are two issues intertwined within one another; your privacy and value of your healthcare provider's time.

The whole "electronic health records" thing will be coming up A LOT unless ObamaCare is struck down in it's entirety in January. The "do you own a gun" court case is an ominous bellweather for what's to come. Documenting, in a government-run computer program, which millions of people can access with the click of a mouse, all of YOUR personal information each time you seek health care is an infringement upon your right to privacy, and an enormous burden upon your health care providers.

Nurses will exit the field in droves (they already are), because charting requirements have become ridiculous, and will get worse, much worse. Nurses do NOT want to spend all of their time trying to navigate leviathan databases to chart every tiny item of a patient's care AND WHAT THEY OWN OR DON'T OWN, rather than a quick running narrative focused on your health coupled with lots of hands-on care. They won't put their patient's lives or their licenses at stake, not even shrieking, frothing-at-the-mouth progressive nurses who helped create this unholy mess.

Private doctors will be run out of business. Who can afford to transfer all of their patient records into this burdensome system? Who can afford the software? Who can afford the TIME to navigate this monstrosity? Physicians are stretched to capacity now; adding government-mandated charting requirements (for the sole purpose of data collection) is a recipe for disaster.

And what about your right to privacy? Do you REALLY want every tiny detail of your health AND your life on a government database run by bureaucratic idiots?

I think your private information belongs to you.  How do you all feel about this? Do you like the convenience of any health care professional being able to access your data at a moment's notice, including whether or not you own a gun? Honestly, some of the information on that record may save your life in an emergency situation. Then again....


  1. Let's all party like it's 1776.

  2. This move by the Left is so damn transparent that I foolishly thought it would be laughed out of the legislature. But, really the joke is on them.

    After all, we are really, really damn well armed.

    1. This is a reality in Canada. Believe me, if Obamacare happens this is your reality too.

      But honestly, you have nothing to worry about unless some idiot from the Government Health Care System leaves their laptop in their car and it gets stolen (happened so many times I've lost count). Or some beaurocrat decides to transfer your info to his home computer and said computer gets hacked (yes, this happened...more than once).

      Personally, I have not suffered any negative consequences of the government knowing my every bowel movement, but who's to say I won't in the future. Be careful what you wish for,

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  4. While there may be benefits, in fact are Db benefits within a closed system such as a teaching hospital where care is HMO based, this mandatory omnibus availability is symptomatic of federalized anything ... e.g., the "process" soon over rates the end products and services. Reports become the goal rather than health care per se. Even where there are obvious benefits, the burden takes away from medical care whether by doctor or nurse. If you die, neither likely gets fired....however, if you they fail to keep the mother Db uploaded, good-bye. There is a huge burden because in the rush to reduce costs, clerical staffs, who would normally perform input from notes, have all but been eliminated. The effect, of course, is the opposite of what was intended the higher paid nurses and doctors must do the data uploading themselves, which can mean only, and I mean ONLY MEAN, seeing fewer patients for less time and focus.

    File this under Vast Plans devised from Half Vast Ideas.

    Pssst: It is not a crime (yet) to fib to a doctor or nurse ... e.g., you got a gun? Nope. It's bullshit (spurious data) anyway because if you acquired the gun legally in the past few decades, it is already recorded in your name. Unless, the Dept of Justice acquired it ...then who the flip knows where it went....?

  5. Where we live it is hard to find a doctor who will accept you as a regular patient in his practice. Most people go to a "Doc-In-The-Box" when they need to see a doctor.

    It is not unusual to see signs at DITBes that they are closed because they cannot find enough doctors to stay open.

    1. Honestly, I am so used to the teaching hospital with on staff physicians and specialists, I can't imagine going to an individual independent doctor. Among other things, how could they possibly afford the clinical facilities? If using stand alone clinics, who coordinates them? Don't know much about it, but the "Doc in a Box" you describe sounds horrid....who manages them and coordinates care, surgical and clinical, outside of their little box?

    2. Around Seattle I think most DITBes have been taken over by the University of Washington.

      Personal physicians here can refer to other places for tests so they do not have to have an large equipment outlay. The nice part is that the practice has first hand knowledge of your history, your are not some abstract being in a record.

    3. RadioMattR .... in the system I am in each physician you see, from your primary care doctor to specialists, all have immediate access to your records, and they coordinate care directly with your primary care physician. I can have a CT Scan at 0800 hours in Dearborn and it will be available immediately system wide in multiple suburban and main locations in the same system. The problem now is the clerical load each primary care and specialist doctor has to undertake personally.

    4. Oh, I am not saying the system here is better. I was merely saying that I like the idea of having a personal physician. I do believe the US system is better. I just wonder what people, including Canadians, will do when the US system is ruined.

      "Yes, I plan on having a massive heart attack in three months. Can you fit me in for surgery then?"

    5. Matt ... I think we're saying the same thing. I have a "personal physician" that I can see on a moments notice if necessary. I even keep his personal cell phone & home phone handy. He always returns any call of mine, or Judi's, promptly. In the system I am in the term "primary care provider" is just the term for "personal physician" they use. You keep the same personal doctor for as long as you like, in the past 30+ years I have had 2, and that only because the first died untimely from cancer.

      So, yeah, if the OPRC (previously called Affordable Care Act)system changes my position to a random doc in a box system I will be highly pissed off.

  6. Something I can see happening under OPRC (Obama-Pelosi-Roberts-Care) is a decrease in competition between large hospital systems, particularly those (most here - Detroit Metro Area) with full clinical facilities. Each of the systems have differing features preferred by patients, providing medical care and services ... e.g., they are in competition with each other. My favorite has a strong HMO system and carrier as part of their corporate system as a teaching hospital.

    How long before all is federal bureaucratic and nothing else?

  7. The "doc in a box" is being tried around here. WalMart is giving space for a PA to set up shop inside their stores. The one in our nearest decent- sized town seems to sit empty, other than the PA and the dust motes. Prices are posted on a board above the desk. "Sinus infections $65" etc. This particular walk-in clinic is managed by our local hospital.

    My personal doc only charges $48, and has all my records. Why would I pay $65? Of course, if I need a specialist I'm pretty well screwed. If you can find a doc taking new patients, the waiting list is months.

    It'll get worse. Much worse. An unprecedented number of people are getting their primary care via the emergency dept (which is why the WalMart PA is as lonely as the Maytag repairman); with ObamaCare, I think you'll see that come to a screeching halt.

    Then what? Yeah.