Risks and Benefits of Technology in Health Care

Risks and Benefits of Technology in Health Care

Stefane Kabene (University of Western Ontario, Canada) and Melody Wolfe (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-561-2.ch102

Abstract

The integration of technology into health care has created both advantages and disadvantages for patients, providers, and healthcare systems alike. This chapter examines the risks and benefits of technology in health care, with particular focus on electronic health records (EHRs), the availability of health information online, and how technology affects relationships within the healthcare setting. Overall, it seems the benefits of technology in health care outweigh the risks; however, it is imperative that proper measures are taken to ensure successful implementation and integration. Accuracy, validity, confidentiality, and privacy of health data and health information are key issues that must be addressed for successful implementation of technology.
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Electronic Health Records

Technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) and computing have made way for the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), the comprehensive compilation of health care provided to an individual over their lifetime —an exciting and impressive accomplishment. Despite the vast possibilities and efficiencies that EHRs can potentially offer, their implementation into existing healthcare systems poses some potentially deterring and serious risks, such as confidentiality breaches, identity theft, and technological breakdowns and incompatibilities. Therefore, electronic records should be not hastily integrated into healthcare systems without proper precautions.

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