Are Unique Patient Identifiers the Future of Medical Records?

While the U.S. works to convert the medical record system from paper to electronic, a transition to universal patient identifiers sparks debate over trust, privacy and control, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A universal patient identifier system would give one number to each individual, seamlessly connecting him or her to his or her medical records. The article covers two sides to the issue.

Proponents of UPIs argue they are the most efficient way to limit the current data overload, lower unnecessary costs and improve patient care. Opponents argue UPIs bring risks around patient privacy and data breaches and the possibility of selling patient codes for commercial benefit.

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