Please keep your health record, yourself – use PING!

With the increasing use of IT in Healthcare, private information about patients are on “public” places. Electronic patient records are maintained in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, including General Practitioners. This is a medico-legal time-bomb. Security issues, fears of Big Brother State control, privacy, safety, legal action, insurance to cover these areas are some complex issues that will come up.

One way out of this situation is to allow patients to keep their own records and be responsible for them. This will also ensure their availability to the right people, determined by the owner of the records. These are issues of identity – knowing you and yours, them and theirs!

Personal Internetworked Notary and Guardian or PING, was started few years ago as an open source project, to find such a system and make it as secure as possible.

A project of Harvard Medical School, MIT, and Children’s Hospital Boston, it has come a long way.

“PING is the world’s first personally-controlled health record system. It enables a patient to own a complete, secure copy of her medical record, integrating health information across sites of care and over time. PING is built to public standards as an open-source application platform.”

” The security model is extremely strong with each record individually encrypted. Hence, even if a server or backup tapes are comandeered, the individual records cannot be opened.”

“PING record owners can subscribe to data updates from hospital information systems, practices, and regional health information organizations (RHIOs) also known as subnetwork organizations (SNOs). PING records can also be registered with regional record locator services making their data available to institutions within the RHIOs/SNOs”

Thus, Personally Controlled Health Records are born. The PING software is composed of three components, including a client side application. The software is covered by the LGPL

http://ping.chip.org/

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