On Wed, 15 Jun 2005, Joshua Halpern
I have a feeling that a large fraction of the people who talk about computerization projects really don't know very much about what they are talking about.
We are careful enough that this happens quite rarely and we have always found, sooner or later (and not much later), the mis filed files.
I was quite impressed, in my amateur readings of ancient history that very large stories were handed down through the generations, verbally, word for word, sentence by sentence by pure memory. Some 11,000 (?) lines of The Oddessey (a kings return and his adventure from the Trojan War) and 14,000 (?) lines of The Illiad (about the Trojan War, 1200 BC) were all poetry, and the credit for writting it all down went to Homer in ~800 BC. Sounds incredible, but another reference called attention to some woman, memorizing a religious piece and then saying all of some 12,000 lines without error in front of an audience sometime about 100 years ago says that this was possible. Another history book on the peoples in middle age Scandinavia says how a king would sellect people who would memorize, word for word, all of the laws of the land and be responsible (and paid) for the job of being a human repository for this knowledge when it was needed. They had a total of three people who did this in case the memory of one of them made an error. In ancient mesopotamia, they went farther. Castle tax records going back thousands of years BCE show that records of all manner were kept on clay tablets (up to 40,000) and survive today.
By the way, I have a large file on HIPAA (1-1-2" thick). Just recently, I found a document relating to HIPAA and what it tells me is that HIPAA is almost totally useless except to legitamize legal processes in connection with law enforcement AND communicating your medical details all over the damned place including the databases. The one item possibly of use to the serfs and peasants is that insurance companies can't make a condition of paying benefits the release of therapy note information to the insurance company. However, in carrying out legal process, they can get this information simply by subpoena. I see other loopholes.
Getting back to the mis filed files, I'm getting the impression that people (in addition to the increase in cheating, lowering standards, grade inflation, etc., that a lot of us have been talking about) are getting more lazy and not being serious about actually using, developing, and strengthening their memorization abilities. Society seems to be expanding the use of modern technolgy as a crutch rather than a error-correction aid. I'm also going to be interested to see if hackers get in and create some errors in medical records, or threaten to, to extort for money or just create mischeif.