Googling your health

healthlogo.gifIf the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was designed to give patients more control over their medical records in the electronic age, what does it say if twelve years later we decide we’d prefer Google to manage it for us?

In a recent article in the New York Times, it seems patients are eager to do just that:

The Google record … allows the user to send personal information, at the individual’s discretion, into the clinic record or to pull information from the clinic records into the Google personal file.

The move toward online control and access to personal health information changes the previously static, analog patient record into a dynamic set of data that serves multiple purposes. Our concepts of record management and documentation might have to change as well.