Health Records Go Digital in Santa Cruz County
Health facilities in Santa Cruz County in California on May 3 officially will begin transitioning to an electronic health records system, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
Physicians will be able to access patients' health records from other doctors, which could prevent duplicate tests and interacting drugs. In addition, patients will be able to view reports at home and e-mail their physicians.
Some county supervisors on Tuesday raised privacy concerns about the new EHR system.
Rama Khalsa, Santa Cruz Health Services Agency director, said confidentiality breaches are unlikely because most hackers seek financial information which will not be stored with the medical records.
The encrypted files will record who accesses them, and unauthorized viewers can receive $10,000 fines, the Sentinel reports.
Grants will fund most of the $1.7 million project that will digitize patients' records at all health facilities in Santa Cruz County. Records at Planned Parenthood, the Women's Health Center, Salud Para La Gente and Dientes Community Dental Clinic also will be digitized (Bookwalter, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/16).