Where should data live? (part two)

Yesterday I said “you might have reasons for choosing different hosts for information that has different levels of sensitivity [or] needs for high-availability access”. Today I happened to run across a company that makes a business out of this:

The DocuBank Emergency Card provides immediate access to your healthcare directives, any time, anywhere they are needed.

DocuBank provides access to the following critical documents: Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, HIPAA release, organ donation form, hospital visitation forms, burial instructions and more. DocuBank makes your healthcare directives work.

They give you a card for your wallet that acts as the “discovery service” to get to the documents, and you need to have authorization to see them: either they’re about you, or you’re a healthcare provider who has specially registered to get access to this type of information.

Poking around online, I also just learned about the Washington State Living Will Registry, which seems to function much the same except that it’s run by the state.

I’m glad there’s a choice of providers for healthcare directives in break-glass scenarios — and I’m also glad I don’t have to host such information myself on the computer under my desk. After all, I could never offer myself a service-level agreement that I’d find acceptable…

3 Comments to “Where should data live? (part two)”

  1. Dave Pawson 5 December 2008 at 5:11 am #

    Great… for those in the US? A ‘HIPAA release’ sounds quite gruesome!

    How do I let the guys in the morgue know that I don’t want my eyes
    re-used? Do I have to let them know beforehand to allow access
    to the data?

    All accident and emergency units wherever I might visit?

    Is this a good service for … X.gov to take up?

    Regards DaveP

  2. Jonathan 5 December 2008 at 11:01 am #

    this is neat but there website is seriously lacking any privacy protection or declaration thereof. Exactly how secure is my personal medical info stored with them?

  3. Eve M. 5 December 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Both the free government service and the private for-pay one seem to lack any details about the privacy protection offered, although you can take a look at what they require for getting access authorization as a medical facility.

    Having multiple providers is a great way to get them to compete on privacy and availability assurances. (I’m actually a bit discomfited by the privacy policy on the state site; it notes that all information you enter into the site itself is considered “public record”… And in fact, I wouldn’t want to rely on government sites alone for this sort of service in any case. YMMV, of course!)

    Dave, the idea behind DocuBank in particular is to have a high-availability service to get all sorts of documents that give instructions like this. Having just completed a number of estate-planning documents that included checkboxes for what organs are fair game :-), and looking at the wide range of documents this service handles, it would seem to cover lots of gruesome circumstances like this.