A Universal EMR May Be Closer Than We Think

ANG Photo 1By Amber N. Garry

Forbes recently reported that leading experts in health care and information technology are working to create a new computer model that will link all electronic medical records (EMR) together. IBM, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic announced a deal to work together to create a system that would allow medical providers to access a patient’s entire history and medical records from the Cloud. Forbes reports that IBM’s pitch is that it will be able to create a new middle layer in the health care system – linking the old electronic records systems with a new, Cloud-based architecture.

There is little doubt that increased access to an integrated EMR would allow for better patient care. That said, a universal EMR raises numerous security headaches and likely problems. For example, how secure could a universal EMR ever be from a security breach? With a universal EMR who would ultimately be responsible for security and maintaining a secure network? Who would ultimately be responsible for breach notification in the event of a breach?

Although the technology for a universal EMR is still being developed the fact that big players are in the field trying to get it done indicates it may not be as far off as we might imagine. Such a project and change necessitates thought, commentary, and increased vigilance from the compliance community.

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