The Impact of Information Technology in Healthcare Privacy
Maria Yin Ling Fung (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Copyright © 2009.
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The increased use of the Internet and latest information technologies such as wireless computing is revolutionizing the healthcare industry by improving services and reducing costs. The advances in technology help to empower individuals to understand and take charge of their healthcare needs. Patients can participate in healthcare processes, such as diagnosis and treatment, through secure electronic communication services. Patients can search healthcare information over the Internet and interact with physicians. The same advances in technology have also heightened privacy awareness. Privacy concerns include healthcare Web sites that do not practice the privacy policies they preach, computer break-ins, insider and hacker attacks, temporary and careless employees, virus attacks, human errors, system design faults, and social engineering. This chapter looks at medical privacy issues and how they are handled in the U.S. and New Zealand. A sample of 20 New Zealand health Web sites was investigated.