The high cost of snooping

6 minute read

In common with many, if not most of you, I wear several hats: compliance officer, risk manager, assistant vice president for quality, care partner, and patient.

As a patient who works in a healthcare organization, I can empathize with the point of view that one should be able to view one’s electronic medical record (EMR) at will. After all, it’s my information! And it’s right there, just a few clicks away. I get it.

But as with all things healthcare, it’s not that simple. Several compliance colleagues in the Health Care Compliance Association community describe employee access to their own records as a slippery slope, and they’re absolutely right. Once the bright line between employee and patient has been violated, it becomes easier for the individual to justify accessing the medical records of family members, colleagues, friends, neighbors, and VIPs.

As some of us have seen, this can lead to directly scheduling appointments, messaging providers, and other insider activities that can and do disrupt processes and workflow to the detriment of other patients, care providers, and the organization itself.

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