10 Year Anniversary of National Health Information Technology Office Marks 10 Years of Violating Patient Privacy and Compromising Care

 

***NEWS RELEASE***

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2014

CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com
    

10 Year Anniversary of National Health Information Technology Office Marks 10 Years of  Violating Patient Privacy and Compromising Care

 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Says Electronic Medical Records Mandate Impacts Patients’ Privacy and Freedom 

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Ten years ago, on April 27, 2004, President George W. Bush issued an executive order to begin computerizing Americans’ medical records without patient consent. His order to set up the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology was a push toward an interoperable, online-accessible national medical records system. Five years later, President Obama and Congress made the Office permanent through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Politicians may have thought the move would improve health care, but instead, it has forced doctors to administer care with a keyboard rather than with their heads, hands and hearts.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights, says that over the past decade, the health IT mandate has violated patient privacy and compromised patient care.  

“Health information technology has been forced on doctors and patients,” said Twila Brase, CCHF’s president and co-founder. “Migrating medical records to vast computer systems has allowed patient data to be broadly shared without consent, made medical records difficult to use, added hours to physician charting, and left much room for error.

“For instance,” Brase says, “the click-and-paste feature has allowed important patient information to be buried in volumes of words. And according to the FDA, health IT has also caused patient injuries and at least six patient deaths. Another study found 22 new medication errors from computerized order entry, a key feature of EHRs. Most patients have no idea that the electronic medical record mandate has introduced patient safety issues.”

Additionally, creating the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and migrating medical records to an electronic system has cost taxpayers at least $20 billion, which has been provided through federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or the stimulus bill of 2009.

“Medical technology has also greatly interfered with the doctor-patient relationship and raised privacy concerns,” added Brase, who has worked as both a public health nurse and emergency room nurse. “Patients watch as every word they say is entered into a computer. Some doctors have scribes who enter the room without patient consent to listen and record every word, and doctors are forced to focus on entering data into a computer rather than making eye contact with their patients.”

The ONC is tasked with developing “a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure,” essentially a national medical records system accessible to more than 2.2 million entities given access under the so-called HIPAA privacy rule.

“Doctors also have to deal with standardized treatment protocols that make it more difficult to individualize patient care. Compliance with these protocols issued by outsiders may be used to raise or lower their reimbursement. Do we really want the government measuring doctors and potentially penalizing them by how they comply with these treatment protocols?

“In essence, the government is building a national medical data system to control health care,” Brase added. “He who holds the data makes the rules. The administration saw the EHR mandate as the foundation of Obamacare. This system to control doctors and track patients must be undone, and patient consent must be reestablished for the sharing of data.”

Celebrating its 20th year, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn. CCHF supports patient and doctor freedom, medical innovation and the right of citizens to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.  CCHF also sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide on the American Family Radio Network and 90-plus stations on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed health care initiatives and steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” Brase, a public health nurse, has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.

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For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com

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Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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