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Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth about Electronic Health Records

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Book Description

There are serious dangers lurking behind the government's $30 billion electronic health record (EHR) experiment. This omnipresent technology turns doctors into data clerks and shifts attention from patients to paperwork--while health plans, government agencies, and the health data industry profit. Patients who think the HIPAA ''privacy'' rule protects the confidentiality of their medical information will be shocked to discover it makes their medical records an open book.

Inside this book, discover: - how Congress forced doctors to install surveillance in the exam room - hard facts from over 125 studies and reports about the impact of EHRs on medical care, costs, patient safety, and more - how patient treatment decisions are controlled (and tracked) by the EHR - what specific steps back to freedom, privacy, and patient safety are available, and why we must act now.

Editorial Book Review:

By Rebecca Jones

Big Brother in the Exam Room provides an engaging, factual and critical analysis of the state of contemporary healthcare, emphasizing the broad adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and exploring how an apparently benign technology breakthrough may profoundly change the doctor-patient relationship, jeopardize patient privacy, and add more layers of bureaucracy and monitoring to the healthcare system. It is a thought-provoking and current read.

The central claim of Brase's thesis is that electronic health records (EHRs), although purportedly intended to simplify and enhance medical treatment, instead take doctors' attention away from their patients by turning them into data clerks burdened with administrative duties. According to Brase, this shift has a significant impact on the standard of treatment patients receive and is more than just a bother. The book describes in detail how Congress has required EHRs, therefore placing surveillance cameras in exam rooms all throughout the nation.

Brase provides a strong body of data to back up her claims, including over 125 research and papers that demonstrate the negative effects of EHRs. These include rising healthcare expenses, jeopardizing patient safety, and deteriorating patient-doctor privacy. The refutation of the widely held belief that patient information is protected by the HIPAA privacy law is among the most concerning revelations. Instead, Brase describes how this regulation has produced a situation in which private health data corporations and government authorities may easily access medical records, frequently without the agreement of the patient.

The book also explores how EHRs monitor and manage patient treatment choices, showing how data-driven EHR system requirements, rather than the skilled assessment of medical practitioners, shape medical practices. Significant ethical questions concerning autonomy and the dehumanization of patient care are brought up by this.

Even though Brase draws a dark picture through the information she shares, she also gives the reader hope through specific suggestions on how to make patients safety a priority, get back privacy, and focus on real healthcare. It is made to seem like these steps need to be taken right away to keep EHRs from having too much power over the healthcare system.

People who make policy, people who work in healthcare, and patients should all read Big Brother in the Exam Room. This book calls into question the status quo and brings up important information about the real cost of medical technology developments. The works the author has gone through to make a strong case for changing the direction of healthcare reform and putting the trust between doctors and patients ahead of the health data sector's financial goals.

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