Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


The medical record contains information about the most intimate details of our personal lives. Reliance on the computer by both private health care providers and the government to store, access, and manipulate medical information has increased dramatically in the last decade. The development of a national health care delivery system will utilize computer technology to automate and standardize the medical record even further. Current law and regulations are inadequate to meet the potential for misuse and abuse created by the computerization of medical information. This note explores the development of the computerized medical record and the likely future direction of such development. It analyzes existing constitutional, statutory, and case law and discusses the need to formulate a new standard-beyond Whalen v. Roe-for courts to use to evaluate the efficacy of security safeguards for traditionally confidential medical information.