February 11, 2014

Doctors Now Asking for Email Addresses

I admit I had to think twice when I was asked for my email address. I am still concerned that it will be sold as part of a list by an unscrupulous doctor. This will not happen for some time, as I am part of a small group of patients enrolled to the patient portal to meet the meaningful use requirement.

There are still requirements for them to meet and it is great to watch them jump through the hoops. In this article, Dr. Pelzman describes some of the problems in obtaining patients' email addresses. He does cover many points and leaves out a few others.

Why people will not give out emails when they willing do the following online -
  1. Using their credit card numbers online.
  2. Banking online.
  3. Putting their home address on Facebook.
  4. Telling people on Facebook they are on vacation. where, and when.

If you have a Yahoo email account, I can understand why you would not give it to anyone. I strongly suspect that Yahoo sells the email account information with the amount of spam and junk emails I receive daily. Many are from advertisers on Yahoo and I have asked Yahoo for over a year to delete my account, but as of today, it is still there and the spam emails are increasing almost daily. I know that twice in the last two years, my email account has been hacked and the last time the contacts were removed and many of them received emails with viruses attached. In addition, Yahoo does not remove phishing attacks and other libelous attacks that other email services are great at preventing.

If the National Security Agency (NSA) can copy our telephone communications and retail stores like Target can compromise credit cards, then we know that obtaining information from our electronic health records is an easy task. Fact is hospitals and clinics are to report when their servers are hacked into and the Health and Human Services Department is maintaining this list.

The number of times our medical electronic records are accessed for information and to enter information into our records is often many times per year. Labs, hospital servers, insurance companies, and claims data flows from and to our records before and after every visit.

Dr. Pelzman is promoting bringing people into the new century and likes the savings he feels is to be had. He wants to make sure everyone is on board and he feels that he can safely bring them into a new, more efficient world. He admits that some will never be part of it, but he promotes the brave new world coming at us.

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