Sharing healthcare data is not as widespread as in other fields, although having a huge positive potential. The tendency to share patients’ data has many advantages if used responsibly and aimed at improving care and medical research. However, it is also true that healthcare data exchange has many risks that need to be controlled by reliable measures. The paper analyzes the benefits of sharing healthcare data and highlights possible risks and consequences of them.
The main advantages of healthcare data exchange are the improvement of the process of individual care and the general healthcare system’s condition. First of all, by having access to information, patients can check its accuracy, increase their level of awareness and accelerate the recovery process. Moreover, combining volumes of data from patients in different periods helps to identify patterns faster and develop new ways to predict or diagnose diseases (What are the risks around patient data? n.d.). Thus, not only does the efficiency of the medical officers’ work increase but also, the process of identifying the problem becomes easier and faster.
In contrast, sharing healthcare data is never immune to leakage risks. Those leakages usually occur during the transmission of information by fax, e-mail, or in case of accidental publication (What are the risks around patient data, n.d.). The risks connected to data sharing lead to an invasion of privacy, loss of control over data dissemination, and the tendency to hack and cyberattacks. All these shortcomings result in a loss of trust in the healthcare system and, contrary to the merits, decelerate the work of hospital staff.
Thus, even with many advantages and opportunities to develop the healthcare sector, sharing healthcare data needs to be approached wisely. The healthcare system will benefit from data exchange by considering all possible information leaks in advance. Such a responsible approach can lead to a substantial leap in providing medical services.
What are the risks around patient data? (n.d.). Understanding Patient Data. Web.