By Mark Wilhelm
Mayday is an emergency word used internationally as a distress signal. It also means the first of May and funnily enough – or maybe it’s not so funny — that’s the date on which the new “Electronic Medical Record project” became live at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria.
As reported in the Herald Sun on Saturday, April 30, 2016, the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) project will see all documentation and communication from patient observations, drug orders, X-ray requests as well as doctors notes go digital. How do you feel about that?
Professor Mike South of the RCH seems to think it’s lovely. He says:
“With the EMR, your child’s entire clinical history is in one place, securely stored and readily available to the next person responsible for your child’s care,”
Am I missing something here — aren’t the parents and/or patient responsible for their own care? Is he suggesting that we give away all of our responsibilities?
The article in the Sun says families in Victoria can expect fewer medication errors, more control over their child’s care and will no longer need to repeatedly tell their medical history to each new specialist. My question is MORE CONTROL FOR WHOM?
Another question is: why is it no longer important to tell the most current updated story to each new specialist? What if you have sought treatment outside of this hospital? What if the patient has only just found out that they have reacted to their current medication?
The boast is that “Patient safety has also been consistently enhanced through EMR because medication dosage and any patient allergies appear as alerts on the screen that can’t be accidentally overlooked.” How can they guarantee that this won’t happen? Again I ask what happens if the information is not up to date, or there is a computer/system malfunction (NOT THAT THIS EVER HAPPENS!).
The Herald Sun article finishes by exulting that the Electronic Record Project will allow persons over age 16 to access their own records to make repeat prescription requests, check appointment dates, read doctor notes and add their own comments. So, where are the RECORDS BEING STORED? Does the patient have access to ALL INFORMATION? Who can ACCESS THIS INFORMATION?
My research tells me the records are stored on AARNET Cloudstor. Listed below are the benefits as shown on their website HERE.
- CloudStor file storage, CloudStor file sender and the AARNet Mirror are all accessible from the new CloudStor web interface.
- Fast access using Australian Access Federation (AAF) credentials
- Easy to use – no plugins required
- Quick and secure large file transfer
- Secure storage located in Australia and directly connected to the AARNet backbone at 10Gbps, for rapid and convenient access, and avoiding any sovereignty issues.
The Australian Access Federation (AAF) is Australia’s leading identity broker, enabling access to online resources for the Education and Research sector.
Did you know that? It’s “part of the Australian eResearch infrastructure landscape facilitating trusted electronic communications and collaboration between education and research institutions both locally and internationally.”
Would you be willing to believe that AAF “provides subscribers with a national single sign-on that allows individuals across many different organisations to collaborate and access online resources within a trusted environment.”?
An article by Micheala Whittington, “Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records,” is enlightening. She says:
“A controversial deal between tech giant Google and the National Health Service (NHS) will allow artificial intelligence units access to 1.6 million confidential medical records. Since 2014, Google has partnered with several scientists in an attempt to understand human health, but a new report reveals the data gathering goes far beyond what was originally anticipated. “
–Mark Wilhelm lives in South Australia and keeps an eye on alternative media news nationwide.