It’s HIPAA, not Hippo! – Protecting your private health information in the Electronic Age

NurseBob

NurseBob

Is your personal health information at risk of being shared with the world? Unfortunately, the answer is Yes!
There
are some interesting parallels between federal acts, icebergs, and hippos, all three keep their bulk and associated dangers submerged and out of sight.  Of course, most of us are familiar with the fate of the Titanic after its encounter with an iceberg, and I don’t think it’s too hard to find scary stories of hippo encounters if you follow stories of African safaris or some of the reality shows.  But, what are the risks associated with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? (HIPAA)  Wasn’t a primary goal to protect the privacy of your personal health information?  Well, sometimes the best intentioned legislation goes awry, especially when there are competing, and perhaps even contradictory goals contained in the same act.  Anyone remember the reason the HAL 9000 computer murdered most of the crew in Stanely Kubrick’s film of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 – A Space OdysseyConflicting directives! Continue reading