Monday, September 2, 2013


Should Google Organize Your Medical Records?
The periods of the recent past has significantly resulted in the critical growth and development of various companies across the globe. Technological advancement has also been adopted in the economies as the essential contributor of growth and it has resulted in the increase in the aspects of efficiency and innovation. Ideally, the medical industry in the United States has been identified as the industry that experiences increased challenges because the attributes of technology have not been adopted (Hoffman, 2006). In view of the existing situation in the industry, majority of the Americans have continued to use the traditional and conventional systems of keeping data in physical files and folders that are stacked in the hospitals. In reality, this system is increasingly being overwhelmed due to increasing population and the concept of prescription accuracy (Matheson et al 2013, Mora, 2012). It is extremely important for the doctors to access existing patent records before the continuing with fresh prescription.

In the wake of rising complexities in the medical industry, Google Corporation has dedicated sufficient research and innovation thereby leading to the development of an online record system. This new development by Google is extremely essential because it offers both doctors and patients an ideal online platform where they can store all the medical information. In reality, Google has emerged as the leading search engine across the globe and this enabled significant number of people to earn great trust in the company (spring, 2010). Furthermore, Google has developed has pioneered the development of the application that has the potential of transforming the existing problems in the American healthcare system where storage of data has continued to be a daunting task.

The doctors from various hospitals have faced the limitation of not sharing millions of medical records in the industry. In this regard, Google has pioneered the development of “Google health” which is an application for digitalizing health records like x-rays, handwritten documents, ct scans, spreadsheet and other formats of health records (Downs, Thow & Leeder, 2013, Garets, 2006). Upon digitalization, the problem of information sharing and accurate prescription will be ideally solved.

The concept of digitalizing the health care system in the United States has been highlighted as one of the critical challenges towards attaining efficient healthcare. This system will necessitate the sharing of information regarding the patients across the entire hospitals in the region. The research has shown that technological advancement has been adopted by other sectors of the economy but only 15% of the medical field has received digitalization (Aspden, 2004, Kohn, 1999). This remains a critical challenge for the healthcare industry. Google as a wonderful investment opportunity that will help them increase the scope of competition has viewed this obstacle in digitalizing health care. This factor will also derive competitive advantage thereby helping them beat their competitors like Bing and Microsoft. According to the information from Google health, the ideal motive for the development of this application is to help in the organization of the global health records and information (Fitzmaurice et al, 2002).

The concept of allowing Google to organize medical records has been characterized by the development of various controversies and this has resulted in the development of critical concerns. As the leading search engine provider, Google has been criticized for the violation of privacy policies (L. Hoffman, 2006). Ideally, the development of this application has also been criticized because it will enable Google to collect all the relevant medical records that are deemed private and confidential. Critical arguments have stated that Google Corporation should not be allowed to access individual medical records because the search engine giant will subject them to violation (Lewis, 2000).

The research conducted in the market has also revealed that privacy concerns are integral factors that have not been addressed in the healthcare industry. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPAA) have provided minimal information regarding the protection of the medical records. The act primarily covers information flowing between health care providers, clearing houses and health insurers (DesRoches CM, et al, 2008). The existing hospitals and practices in the states that have applied the usage of online electronic medical data storage have reported significant cases of breaches in the system and this has disqualified the usage of electronic medical data storage. Further information has shown that 249,000 American citizens have been victims of online fraud and breach concerning online data (HIMSS Board of Directors, 2008, Geyman, 1999). This group of people has confirmed that their personal information has been significantly misused for obtaining suppliers and medical treatment. There is significant fear amongst the American citizens that the aspect of online medical records observation may result in the increase of security breach and increases cases of privacy violation or even medical personality theft.

In the wake of rising discussion regarding the enactment of Google health application, the management and professional from the company have reassured the public that the establishment of the application will encourage privacy violation or medical identify theft. The company has demonstrated authenticity and the zeal to protect and store medical data. According to Lewis, (2000), the proof of efficiency and security of Google corporation is the fact that it relies on its systems and application for operations. In reality, this is ideal because Google has continued to rely on its systems for operation and this has enabled the company to be identified as the leading search engine in the global market.

In the wake of rising technological advancement, the protection of personal and private information should be accorded significance. In the view of this realization, the aspect of according the custody of medical information to Google Corporation is ideally unacceptable and the company may use the information to update their database (Geyman, 1999). Therefore, the citizens of the United States should not entrust their medical information to the online company because of the rising fears of information violation and breach of the Google security system.

Finally, the case of designing electronic medical record keeping is an extremely critical factor that stores critical and valid information about the respondents. In this regard, some of the essential records that I will include in the electronic record keeping interface include the following. Age of the patient, name, sex, medical history, last medical check-up, date of appointment with the doctor and prescription are the features that will be included in the form. On the other hand, factors like race of the patient, academic background, employment status, taxation information and sexual orientation of the patients. Ideally, the rationale for the omission of the above factors is that they do not largely contribute towards the development of medical records and they always form the motive for the violation of the medical records. However, the above factors included in the online record keeping system will contribute towards highlighting the necessary medical summary of the patient thereby enhancing accuracy of prescription.

References Aspden P, Corrigan JM, Wolcott J, Erikson SM, (2004)eds. Patient safety: achieving a new standard of care. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Downs, S. M., Thow, A., & Leeder, S. R. (2013). The effectiveness of policies for reducing dietary trans fat: a systematic review of the evidence. Bulletin Of The World Health Organization, 91(4), 262-269H. doi:10.2471/BLT.12.111468 DesRoches CM, et al (2008). Electronic health records in ambulatory care—A national survey of physicians. 359:50. Garets D, Davis M (2006). Electronic Medical Records vs. Electronic Health Records: Yes, There Is a Difference. A HIMSS Analytics™ White Paper. Geyman, J. P. (1999). Family practice:. foundation of changing health care , 285. HIMSS Board of Directors (2008.). HIMSS Personal Health Records, Definition and Position Statement. Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS). Fitzmaurice JM, Adams K, Eisenberg JM. Three decades of research on computer applications in healthcare: medical informatics support at the agency for healthcare research and quality. Journal of the Am Med Inform Assoc 2002;9:144–60 Kohn KT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS.( 1999) To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; Lewis M.(2000) “Planning for a PHR World.” Medical Economics 85(17):18-22. L. Hoffman, M. R. (2006). How to Talk With Your Doctor: Easyread Large Bold Edition. United States: ReadHowYouWant. Matheson, L., Asherson, P., Ian Chi Kei, W., Hodgkins, P., Setyawan, J., Sasane, R., & Clifford, S. (2013). Adult ADHD patient experiences of impairment, service provision and clinical management in England: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research, 13(1), 1-13. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-184 Mora, F. (2012). The demise of Google Health and the future of personal health records. International Journal Of Healthcare Technology & Management, 13(5/6), 363-377. Spring, H. (2010). Health professionals of the future: teaching information skills to the Google generation. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 27(2), 158-162. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00885.x