We have heard any number of public policies, especially those demanding higher taxes, justified by the claim, “it’s for the children.” And, now it appears that the Obamacare czars at Health and Human Services are attempting to use the “children” to push the comprehensive privacy-sapping idea of electronic health records to capture every detail of your life, including employment and finances, in a single government-accessible dossier. Welcome big brother and his children.
Children’s Electronic Health Record Format Announced
The benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) may become more widely available to children through an EHR format for children’s health care announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Growing use of EHRs continues to improve the quality and safety of health care in the United States, but many existing EHR systems are not tailored to capture or process health information about children. The EHR format for children’s health care announced today includes recommendations for child-specific data elements such as vaccines and functionality that will enable EHR developers to broaden their products to include modules tailored to children’s health.
“Health care for children is a calling that carries special challenges,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D. “This new children’s EHR format will help software developers meet the needs of health care providers for children by combining best practices in clinical care, information technology and the contributions of health care providers who treat children every day.”
The children’s EHR format was authorized by the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) and developed by AHRQ and CMS. The format is intended to improve care for children, including those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), by guiding EHR developers to understand the types of information that should be included in EHRs for children. The format is designed for EHR developers and providers who wish to augment existing systems with additional features or to build new EHR systems for the care of children.
For more information about the children’s EHR format, please visit http://healthit.ahrq.gov/childehrFormat.
The big lie …
“ … but many existing EHR systems are not tailored to capture or process health information about children.” Quick, tell me what is different about a human being’s health record that is age specific. Conditions, diseases, treatments, or contact information? You take your child to the doctor and he records his vital information, test results, condition and impressions. So, what’s different.
Bottom line …
I can assure you that the electronic infrastructure needed to capture, store and report on a child’s health record is exactly the same as needed for an adult’s healthcare record. In fact, the format is actually a subset of the master file format due to the need to capture information about the parents – including details of their histories and home life.
I have pointed out in other blog posts that the “emergency room” access to medical records scam was just that, a scam. ER doctors deal only with the presenting symptoms, order their own tests and take a brief patient history. Rarely do they take the time to review patient records – even when they are available in the patient’s online file – or use patient-proffered medical records to guide their decisions except in relatively rare cases.
And, ask yourself, how many doctors manipulate the diagnosis and other factors, or order irrelevant tests to increase reimbursement rates?
What is really needed, in my not so humble opinion, is a privacy law that provides for substantial mandatory penalties for any government employee, contractor, medical practitioner or lay person who accesses medical records for political, commercial or any other use without the specific written permission of the patient or his designated representative – and that this permission cannot be placed in any other form or be disguised in any manner. And that there be an audit trail of any agency – including covert operative of the government – accessing these records.
And for those who really want to see what is going on, click on the link above and see if you can get access to the actual format. What you will find is that the standard datasets are controlled by a non-governmental organization (NGO).
Health Level Seven International (HL7) is the global authority on standards for interoperability of health information technology with members in over 55 countries.
Membership in HL7 is available to everyone interested in the development and/or use of a cost-effective approach to system connectivity. Involvement and support from HL7's members is crucial to the ongoing expansion and enhancement of the HL7 standard and the overall success of the organization.
Whoops … I forgot to mention that to access the records, an individual membership will cost $705, a student membership will cost $145. And these are annual membership costs. NOT QUITE THAT OPEN AND TRANSPARENT!
Ask yourself why, if these standards are being developed with government funds and the contributions of government doctors, why this information should not be free and open to the world like all of the other internet standards currently in use by other nations? Do the words, political advantage, special interests and greed cross your mind?
So I am tired of hearing public policies being pushed with the false and misleading meme, “it’s for the children,” when it really is about adult money, power and politics.
Reference links ...
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius