Communications of the IIMA


Medical information has a special status among the various items of personal information. The introduction of information technology (IT) has changed the handling of medical information in ways that are both promising for improving health care as well as threatening to the individual patient's medical information privacy. The challenge to business practitioners is to manage medical information intelligently and to avoid the negative consequences of mismanaging this information, which may include customer backlash in the forms of boycotts, lawsuits, and loss of company reputation. This challenge is particularly important in the context of the U.S. National Health Information Network initiative, which has the potential of sending electronic medical information to IT devices worldwide in the not too distant future.