LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Health care reform will change your medical records. No longer will records be on paper, but on a secure national database.
But the nation is waiting to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn any, or all, of the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Joe Thompson is the Arkansas Surgeon General. "We're starting to set up the secure connections between clinics. So that we can transfer clinical information safely, securely and to make sure it gets to the right place," Dr. Thompson said. "For example, you don't want your clinical information just shipped over email somewhere that somebody could either hack into or could get delivered to the wrong place."
He discusses safeguards in place to protect the privacy of patients. "So with our new state health alliance record exchange, we're going to have encryption and secure login by providers to make sure patients' records get to the place that they're supposed to go to, and only to the physician or clinician who is supposed to get them," Dr. Thompson said.
There are benefits and challenges in converting medical records in Arkansas to an electronic database, that's according to the Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology.
But incentives are being offered to convert those records as soon as possible. Ray Scott is the Coordinator for the Arkansas OHIT, and said the process could take years.
He says nearly $70 million has already been given to more than one thousand Arkansas health care providers to recover some costs for converting their systems.
"There is a general concern about identity theft and data security. Our responsibility is to try to assure both the health care consumer and the provider and those paying for the care, that we've got the best security that we can develop," Scott said.
The electronic records are paid for independently of the Affordable Care Act. It's funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.