Yes, a centralized database would definitely be beneficial to everyone involved. Records could be accessed easily and some of the red tape would be alleviated. The only stipulation is that privacy should be maintained such as who can actually access the data base and what viewing and changing rights the individual may have.
Who can access this database and see your information should be limited to medical professionals using it for medical reasons. The data should be transformed into identities represented by numbers before it is turned over to researchers or anybody else, so that your name is anonymous.
As long as we do that then it could be very helpful in organizing information.
A central database for medical information that was accessible to all health care providers would improve efficiency in health care, and also help avoid accidents from different prescriptions being made for the same patient that react negatively when combined. A central database with the proper privacy safeguards would be a big boon to medicine.
A centralized database, being accessible to all involved in a single-payer universal health care plan, would be a very beneficial thing to put in place. At the moment, a lack of readily-shared medical information requires the use of many redundant procedures and personnel. A centrally-accessible database would mean that a person who changes providers would not have to have new tests run on them, new information forms filled out and processed, and so on, and so forth. It would make the whole experience more streamlined and, thus, more cost-effective.
I agree that this would be beneficial, because it would require less information transference. It would come from and go to one area, so it would mean less confusion. With less transferring and processing, it would require less time, and less time means fewer employees needed. This decreases the expense of operating a universal health care plan. Then, more money could go to the health care.
A Database containing patient name and medical history would allow for sharing of information across a number of different platform in the Healthcare industry (i.e. Doctors, Nurses, Administration, Insurance Companies) would bring enormous efficiencies to the system, allowing for cooperative saving across state borders and reduced costs thanks to the economic scale. It should also greatly reduce malpractice cost.
I go to the doctor every so often, and sometime the doctors are different. So when the doctor asks what medication I am taking and the mg's I have to remember all this information again. If there was a centralized database the doctor would just have to check the database and know exactly what you have and what you are taking and how long you have been taking it. and at least they can act as if they know you and not play 100 questions.
I think a centralized database would make a health care system more efficient by keeping information in one place and in one format, so it would be easily accessible no matter where a patient was. It could be transferred from one doctor to another without any problem, and it would be updated whenever needed, without having to worry about matching records from different places. It would also help make large databases of health information available to researchers.
Whether a database is a good idea is a different question, but if a government plan is supposed to pay for all medical care for everyone, they need everyone's medical data in one place. That way it doesn't matter what state or city someone has most of their care in, their records would still be accessible when they are somewhere else. The database would also be necessary to keep track of all of the money involved, and a way to prove whether a claim had been paid.
The merits of a centralized health data base include the economy of record keeping, the availability of records and data when one is traveling and injured or ill away from home, the ease of access when transferring among practitioners, the accessibility of records, and more. The problems of such a system include privacy issues and misuse of data. I believe the problems are surmountable and the merits far outweigh them.
If this was a government operated database we need not look any further than Social Security or Medicare to see how inefficiency in a single system can disrupt one's life. The quality of any library of information is based on the quality of information inputted. I don't think there is any single source, public or private, that can handle a task of this proportion accurately or efficiently. Then there is the security issue, while breaches in a system of this type are inevitable I would think that breaking up such a massive amount of information into smaller packets would be more prudent. I think if we are forced into a single payer system it would make more sense to have a central clearinghouse that obtains information from multiple but identical databases.
The dubious benefits of a centralized database are greatly outweighed by the risks it creates. It removes our ability to control our information. We would have no enforceable way of controlling who accesses our personal medical records, or for what purpose that access occurs. It follows from this, since we would have no control over access, that we also would have no means of catching and correcting errors. Ideally, records should be kept by the primary physician and provided to others only when reasonable, such as when he/she has referred a patient to a specialist or when the patient requests it. The patient should always have access to their records, or course.
The concept of a centralized database would be a bad idea, even if we had a single payer universal health care system, because it would not allow room for checks on the system. If however there were multiple databases, each one could be used to check the other to ensure not errors were present.
The consolidation of large segments of information provide benefits of efficiency but this is counter balanced by the vast security risk. With all of the most personal information gathered in a single location, the control of our personal data could easily be owned or stolen by corporations or ill intended individuals. A single payer system, while appealing, exposes us to governmental control of our personal lives.
I think a centralized database would be too monumental of a task, and there would be too much room for error. A large project such as this should be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks so that there is less of a chance of someone's information getting lost in the cracks, as they say, or misplaced. If a persons data disappears, it could take that person a very long time to prove that he exists on paper!