Information is the most important thing in this new digital age.
Information leads to power over someone else, no matter how trivial the information might be.
If you know ‘it’ and the other person doesn’t, then that gives you a slight edge over them.
The Power Of Personal Data
One of the most powerful pieces of information that is available to the public is personal data.
Personal data is information that we might share with only a few people and we do not want anyone else to know about it.
This data includes your medical history.
Our medical records show a lot about us and, in the wrong hands, can be used against us in many different ways. (Identity theft / medical identity theft being the obvious ones.)
There are so many holes in how medical records are handled in this day and age that there could be a book written about it.
If you want to make sure that your data does not fall into the wrong hands then make sure that you ask your doctor the right questions.
Question Your Medical Doctor
The first thing that you should ask your doctor when you go in for a visit is how he handles his medical records.
Is it in a digital format or is it still in paper form?
If it is in digital format, what kind of protection does he have that surrounds the data?
Of course, these questions might be annoying to him or the nurse that is answering them but who cares – this is important data that he is being entrusted with and if he doesn’t feel that he has to answer the questions then find a new doctor.
You not only put your medical life into the doctor’s hands but you also put your personal life in his hands as well.
With all of this power, a few questions are not going to hurt him.
Also, a lot of times when you go to the doctor, they will ask you to hand over your drivers license so that they can make a copy.
In most cases this is not necessary and you should refuse to do this.
Having copies of that information lying around could be dangerous and there is no reason that they should need it.
If they need a picture ID then show them something that does not have your license number or social security number on it. (Different states put different numbers on the ID.)
Nobody has the right to put your data in danger, not even your doctor.
If you must, go and find another doctor that will grant you your wish.
Or, at the very least, allow them a chance to explain why they need to photocopy this data.
Overall, your doctor has a great deal of information about you in his computer or file cabinet.
It is up to you to make sure that he is doing the right thing and protecting your data.
If he is not then you could end up feeling the consequences down the road.