Do you trust the medical establishment to keep your information secure?

Allina Hospitals and Clinics has fired more than 30 employees at two hospitals for improperly looking at patients’ electronic medical records. The case comes at a time when government is urging health-care providers to switch to electronic records. Today’s Question: Do you trust the medical establishment to keep your information secure?

  • Hiram

    Absolutely not. I assume anything I commit to a computer is public knowledge. That’s the way things are in the 21st century.

  • Rich

    It’s not that I don’t trust the Medical industry or other industries for that matter. It’s the individuals that hack into their systems that I don’t trust.

  • Mary

    If you put it on a computer and that computer is connected to the internet you have to assume that the information can become public. I can understand how someone with AIDS or an STD would be concerned if that information become public. Personally I don’t care if the world knows about my gall bladder surgery or my ingrown toenail or carpel tunnel but I’ll be really ticked off if my weight becomes public.

  • GaryF

    Nope. Trust the government even less.

  • Zeke

    Good one Mary…..

  • Steve the Cynic

    Not as long as our health care system is based on a profit-driven model and run by huge, amoral, money-grubbing corporations headed by obscenely overpaid executives, while the real record-keeping work is done by whatever hirelings will accept the lowest wage rather than people who view their work as public service.

  • At least with the computer records when someone does look at them inappropriately it can be discovered.

  • steve

    pretty much yes, but more security measures are needed in the medical field.

  • JD

    I trust the medical establishment no more than I trust anyone else, profit-driven or not. The fact that some organization or individual views their role as “public service” doesn’t somehow make our personal information magically more secure, Steve.

    Case in point:

  • JD

    Or maybe the “amoral” search for a profit caused this too:

  • Steve the Cynic

    JD, you miss my point. There is no perfect solution to any real problem we face in this world. Neither government nor business is completely trustworthy, which is why we can’t let either one get out of hand. But the idea that a corporation that has as its first priority making heaps of money for investors is somehow less untrustworthy than a government agency that has to answer questions from the press and from democratically elected officials is pure superstition.

  • Jordan

    What information? I haven’t been to the doctor in years. How could I afford it?

  • Sue de Nim

    No, but I would distrust it less if health care were under citizen control, instead of investor control.

  • Alison

    Do I believe that the IT people in the medical industry have figured out a perfectly secure data enviroment free from hacking? Is the medical industry the only one without dishonest employees?

    No. I don’t believe that data is absolutely secure in any industry or government organization. Why would I believe it about the medical industry?

  • Doug P

    I could give a flying frack if someone knew I had X.

  • Chris

    Definitely not! I recently had a physical through Fairview & my doctor & nurse tried fairly hard to convince me to sign up to receive my health information on line. There is no way I want any personal information on line. I have already been a victim of identity theft I don’t need my health information hijacked as well. While you are at it I don’t want my car insurance or banking on line either. The internet is not secure & the way the internet is accessed by many people is even less secure. I trust my mail man way more then I trust the internet.


  • Alison

    Chris, your info is on electronic systems connected to the internet whether or not you choose to look at it electronically,

  • JD

    I don’t see how I missed your point, Steve. You wrote (and implied) that record keeping by those who view their work as “public service” is somehow MORE secure and trustworthy than those who do it with a profit motive in mind. In a free market and profit-driven paradigm, where security of client information is deemed important to the consumer, wouldn’t it behoove the private entity to secure that information? Not doing so would make their clients seek another company to do business with, wouldn’t it? And if damage to the client could be proved, the client could take legal action against the company. This all should motivate a company to be more secure, as it would affect their bottom line, not less secure.

  • Peter

    No. I’ve heard or seen too many news reports of hackers breaking into secure data systems.

    I’ve also been recipient of notices from banks and other data sites that their sites had been breached.

  • Glenn


    Can anyone prove someones’ medical information was “Hacked”??

    Seems to me the medical staff in charge of this have done an outstanding job protecting the public!!

  • greg

    my thought – once on a computer – its accessible. just gotta live with that. as for ……………… In a free market and profit-driven paradigm, where security of client information is deemed important to the consumer, wouldn’t it behoove the private entity to secure that information? that behoovement is under constant pressure from the other corporate behoovement … leveraging “value” from assets. Sometimes called profit.

  • CF

    @Jordan: Ditto!

    I have greater trust that the airlines will make sure that me and my luggage arrive at the same airport when I land.

    I once had a friend who was in the hospital. He was served dinner and the chicken was dry. I asked, “it costs HOW MUCH?!!! to be in the hospital and the chicken was dry?” If they can’t even do chicken right, how can we expect them to keep our data safe?

  • JD

    @greg: dude, “behoovement” isn’t a word. And of course there are pressures that constantly ebb and flow in a free market, that’s the idea. It’s called competition. The point is if Allina is not being careful with my information, as a customer I have a choice to do my business elsewhere, with their competitor, with a company/carrier who takes security of my personal data more seriously. Adding “value,” as you put it, is part of the equation…making processes more efficient and thereby cheaper, yes. But what “value” is added if you lose the client or get sued?

    The point is that the consumer has an individual choice to make when the free market is working the way it’s supposed to. On the flipside, the consumer does NOT have a choice when the government, acting as a monopoly and in our “best interest,” is in charge. I presume you probably want to take a bowel “behoovement” on anyone who thinks profit is not evil but actually a good thing, but you’re wrong.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Yes, JD, I did intend to make the point that people who view their work as a “public service” are more trustworthy (or at least, less untrustworthy) than those who are working from a strict profit motive. You appeared to take me to mean that it would “magically” solve some problem, which I did not intend to imply. You’re the one who’s engaging in magical thinking if you believe the free market would do better than the government at keeping medical information secure. At least, when government employees make mistakes, they’re accountable to me, a voter, through my elected representatives and the free press. A private company can tell investigative reporters to take a hike, and I might not get any redress without hiring a lawyer and taking them to cout.

  • Steve the Cynic

    And as for “behoovement,” JD, who are you to say it’s not a word. It sure looks like a word to me, and I think I know what “greg” meant by it. Lighten up!

  • Dennis Anderson

    Absolutely NOT

    The medical profession does not have adequate security and as was just reported, unauthorized nurses accessed patients records and who knows what they did or information shared.

    I am not sure what or why anyone would care to know of my medical history or information, but I think it still should be secure. Problem is, to add security or our medical information/data, our medical premiums will probably double.

  • Al

    @Doug P – I could give a flying frack if someone knew I had X.

    That is until you apply for a job at a self-insured company and they find out that you have X, and as an employee X would cost them $X00,000 in medical bills if they hired you.

  • Diane

    The poster on my daughters wall by pink floyd stands it has been there 23 yrs, Mother should I trust the government???? Hell no !!!!!!! Just wait til you are in your 50’s they look at you like why are you here. You must have a patient advocate or they may cut the wrong leg off. PTS is just now being recongnized. They also will not tell you that our food sucks look how many cases of add, anxiety etc. In the seventy they said 0 population but I contributed by 2.5 so why are all the foreingner coming in, to triple the tax base. Increasingly our world is only about greed.

  • Joseph

    I have GOT to set the record straight on one point that many folks don’t understand. When a hacker gains access to your medical information, (s)he is NOT interested if you had a hernia operation. The hacker is getting your SS number and date of birth from your patient registration, and credit card info used to make a copayment.

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