In a world where everything is out in the open, it’s tough to imagine information being a secret. We only need to take a look at the number of breaches which put data out into the ether. And, then, there are partnerships between social media giants and polling firms that look to exploit patterns. Privacy appears to be a relic of a bygone era in the 21st century.
Regarding our health, this is scary because no one wants the world to know what’s going on under the hood. Our bodies are ours and that makes them personal. So, how are we supposed to secure them in a culture of openness?
Trust Me; I’m A Doctor
This saying comes from the fact doctors have a Hippocratic Oath they must abide by as medical professionals. In simple terms, they can’t blab to anyone about a patient’s problems without the express permission of the individual. In many ways, it’s a form of data protection before it became a thing in the recent 2000s. In theory, we should be able to trust a doc without proof, yet it may not always be the case. A good way to understand if a physician respects the Oath is to ask. Practitioners from a previous generation may be likely to take it seriously compared to modern doctors.
The Big D
Records are stored electronically nowadays as it’s easier to save more info. Plus, it’s cheaper and greener than spending money on resources such as paper and ink. One of the problems this brings up for patients is leakage. All it takes is one hacker to target a weak spot on the server and they can access everyone’s data. Thankfully, there are measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen, and that’s how we can tell an establishment is safe. It’s the ones that use a HIPAA consultant that respect cybersecurity and want to limit attacks.
I Was At The Doctor’s And…
We can’t only rely on the people handling our information to ensure it’s secure; we too have a responsibility. Breaches from our own mouths appear significant yet they are telling. Simply telling a friend or family member we went to a clinic or a hospital is an admission something is wrong. Then, all it takes is one person to blab before the gossip becomes public knowledge. If we need to confide in somebody, they should be trustworthy and it should be done in a safe, secure place. Remember: there are ears everywhere.
Out Of Town
Running into a person at the doctor’s is another way to start the neighborhood rumor mill. Busybodies will tell as many people as possible, especially if they overhear something juicy. With this in mind, it is better to choose an out of town establishment to limit our exposure. Because it’s not close to home, there should be a small chance of seeing someone we know. Although it seems drastic, it’s a basic privacy measure.
Yes, we can keep our health private but it takes careful planning and research.