Topics:  medical records, online, personal health records

Fears if medical records go online

THERE is no disputing the level of fear that comes with personal details floating around cyberspace, whether it be bank details or explicitly promiscuous photos taken of a celebrity all those boyfriends ago.

Now the fear has set in even deeper with personal health records proposed to go online.

With two sides to every coin, arguments have prevailed for and against the implementation of eHealth.

The government has proposed the online access to patient records would make it easier for medical practitioners to access details and emergency departments could act quicker.

Peppertree Medical owner Barbara Austin said although she could see the benefits, the process should be based on the patient's decision.

"I think it's important that patients be given a choice to participate in the system," Mrs Austin said.

She said it should not be assumed everyone would accept the switch to cyberspace, and patients should have control over who can access the information.

"Confidentiality and security issues are paramount and I'd have to weigh up issues of privacy and compliance costs," Mrs Austin said.

Fears that hackers could sight personal health information remain at the forefront of many minds, as the Southern Downs awaits word of if and when eHealth will hit the region.



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