Every trip to a doctor's office or hospital adds more information to a deep, comprehensive record of who you are — physically, emotionally and even financially, Axios health care business reporter Bob Herman writes.
- Everything else you, your family or your friends divulge to doctors gets recorded. That could include drinking habits, admission of responsibility in a car accident, or marital problems.
- Why it matters: Health care data breaches are getting more common, putting our most sensitive personal information at risk of exposure and misuse.
How it works: A vast majority of doctors' offices and hospitals now use digitized records systems. Even though electronic health records have pitfalls, they can help patients and the health care system overall.
- For example, if new doctors or emergency-room nurses can quickly pull up a list of your allergies, they're a lot less likely to accidentally give you a drug you're allergic to.
- If they can see your recent test results, they're less likely to order a new and unnecessary test.
The bottom line: All this information can be exposed in data breaches, medical malpractice lawsuits, workers' compensation lawsuits or custody disputes.