John Udell’s hospital experience and observations about HIPAA violations

John Udell at Infoworld gives his take on the current state of data entry at hospitals, and the HIPAA violations that he observed and offers possible solutions to the repetitous answering of the same questions over and over.

Tales from the data entry trenches


When it comes to compiling and managing complex data, many applications still have a long way to go

By Jon Udell November 26, 2004

When a family member underwent a series of minor medical procedures recently, I got a telling glimpse of the hospital’s data-entry systems. As I’m sure is true elsewhere, it isn’t a pretty picture.

The ordeal begins at the registration desk, where, no matter how many visits you’ve made — sometimes even on the same day — you are required to “Cverify your information.” Listening to someone read from a screen such facts as date of birth, address, employer, and insurer has always bugged me. But when this procedure is immediately repeated at the surgical registration desk, it becomes a flagrant HIPAA violation. Anyone within earshot is made privy to information the hospital must, by law, safeguard.

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