Not sure if everyone knows or remembers, but my position at work has me installing and caring for an EHR at my hospital. The record is all inclusive and integrated from the doctors office too the hospital, for all of its short comings, its really quite nice, but it is open too all who have access. Now what doe that mean, well it means if I want to look at your medical records I can, all of it, and can do so rather easily. Now I will say that we run audits, but we actually have to audit the record individually so unless we are looking for it, well it isn't that apparent. Not to mention my office is already overburdened with other implementations so we don't audit much at all. Now we do lead the masses to believe that we do, and we have fired individuals for looking at records but once the secret is out, well its out.
So what do you tell your physician about your condition? At my physician's office he has a similar set up, but I do not see a physician that is associated with my hospital so I am safe. I will say that I have talked with him about this and said that I do not want transsexual in my discoverable medical record. Actually the one he uses has a hide feature which is nice, where mine does not. The same way with my psychiatrist and counselor, my "condition" is coded depression anxiety disorder, no mention of transsexualism. Actually my counselor turned m on to this in the past as she said she has had clients denied if their diagnosis was coded under transsexualism as the insurance discriminated against it. If you have never read all of the fine print of your insurance I highly recommend it some time, when you get to the exclusions it gets interesting. Now a good practitioner will know what is and what is not included and will code effectively. Those who are clueless do not. It is all about reimbursement. Now I will say one of my other worries was getting hormones from my local pharmacy, which I do, although my wife changed once I started to get me medications there as she personally knew the pharmacist. Who by the way has never let on. If she ever did I would ask for a review in a heart beat and would make it a big deal at the time.
I know some may say isn't there some sort of professional ethics, well yes there is and well people and they do snoop, things that aren't there business they happen to make it theirs. Or they make it Jesus's business and they have to be the messenger to all, like they have been called by god. Which is one of my big beefs with religion, those who hurt others with it are just evil. Anyway my point here is just an FYI, if you have any questions as I know my thoughts run through my brain faster than I type, let me know. I am curious of those across the pond with a universal system and how all that works out, especially if the health record is computerized.
Eventually I do believe that we will all be outed in some way as I am sure privacy is so 20th century, there is something to be said for anonymity, but there are also arguments against that too, that would be another blog. Have a good day.