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Although most patients are happy to see any new medical technology that provides even a glimmer of hope, both doctors and their charges are skeptical about the new electronic medical record trend. The US Government, on the other hand, thinks it’s a wonderful idea. So great, in fact, that they have designated funds to repay doctor’s offices over $60,000 each for installing these systems.
Most people are concerned about their level of privacy once their most personal information is translated into an electronic format and eliminated from that familiar and comfortable paper folder. They think about how many different types of companies have access to their credit report and wonder if this will be similar. The basic argument is not that someone will steal their medical identity, but that insurance companies or employers will review this information before providing an offer. If they’re sick, these people think it could mean that they can’t even get a job as employers try to keep health insurance expenses low.
Of course, electronic medical records also have their upsides. Once this new technology is fully implemented, a person who has been rushed to an emergency room while on vacation across the country can allow doctors to immediately access their full medical history. This could prevent a lot of unnecessary paperwork and allow doctors who don’t know the patient to know if any drugs or treatments would be ill-advised for this particular patient. In short, these scary electronic medical records could actually end up saving lives.