I’ve made the case that to seriously hope to reform our sick health care industry simultaneous action on multiple fronts must be taken. One of these is the formation of a centralized medical database. Not only is this a complex, massive undertaking, it’s fraught with hazard. See “computer goddess” Kim Komando’s take in her brief video on the problem.

Nevertheless, the dividends paid by such a system are high. Not only will doctors be able to provide better medical care by having what they need and, hopefully, by being able to review the actual tests when necessary, it will eliminate duplication of effort. It is one of the critical components of excising waste from the system.

For security purposes, strong firewalls and powerful safeguards will be necessary, with the patients owning the “keys” to the database. Still, with easier access always comes risk. State-of-the-art security measures of a quality employed in our top-secret military intelligence agencies must be applied.

I recognize that some people will never be convinced the benefits of a universal medical database can outweigh the risks. The government hasn’t given us a lot of confidence in these past few years. But difficult problems often require solutions that defy risk through innovation and courage. We’re now at a crossroads in this land of ours that will need big dollops of both.


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  1. theseep Says:

    I completely agree – in order to provide efficient, comprehensive care, a centralized electronic medical record is imperative. Of course security needs to be addressed, but I really don’t understand why so many people are so fearful of the concept. These days, people have their bank accounts, credit cards, photos, emails, and entire financial and personal life online, often secured by mediocre measures. Why then is there such an uproar over online storage of medical records? I’d personally much rather have someone hack my medical history than my bank account!

    Also, there are already laws in place prohibiting employers to discriminate against people based on their past or current medical issues, so if it’s illegal to access it and illegal to use it against the person if you somehow illegally obtained it, where is the problem? This attitude towards electronic medical records needs to be overcome before there’s widespread acceptance.

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