Locked Data No More

A number of years ago one of my doctor’s practice started using a product called Health Vault. Supposedly it was a HIPPA approved way of communicating with patients and having a repository of all my health related information. The idea sounded good, but the reality was very different.

The Health Vault was perfectly named because all my information was locked tightly in it and I was never able to get in and look at it. I would get an email from my doctor saying I had a message in my Health Vault. I would attempt to log in to see what vital info was in there. I was always locked out. Try as I might, with the correct user name, password and multiple security questions the Health Vault was never certain I was me. I would call the doctor’s office and ask them just to tell me the message. No, that was not allowed. I would request a new log in, it would take days. Eventually I would somehow get the information, “All your tests are normal.” Thank goodness, but why the hell couldn’t someone just tell me that. Doesn’t seem like a HIPPA violation.

When I complained about the Health Vault my pleas fell on deaf ears. “Your tests were normal, what was the problem with getting the info days later?”

“Besides the aggravation,” I would say, “What if something had been life threateningly wrong with me?”

“The doctor would call you then.”

I eventually learned I could ignore the Health Vault since the only news that came through was no news. If I were dying someone would actually let me know. Today when I got an email telling me of the eventual death of the Health Vault. I was thrilled. All my normal test results can stay locked away from me forever. I certainly won’t be able to down load any data as a I don’t have six or seven days to devote to convincing the Health Vault that I am who I am. When I am going out of this world I figure someone will tell me.

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