The title of this article is a tad melodramatic, claiming “Big Brother doctors say patients don’t need to see their imaging test results,” but the conclusion from a study of a small sample set of radiologists and referring physicians is that these medical professionals are against empowering their patients with their own information.
This isn’t too surprising knowing that the entire healthcare system is wrought with ill-conceived ideas against efficient and ready access to patient health records.
Physicians with a "Big Brother" mindset apparently think people having imaging tests are incapable of dealing with the outcomes without suffering from so much anxiety they must be protected from seeing the results.
It’s not clear exactly that this attitude is akin to an Orwellian state, rather than simply an elitist mindset. Many "experts" feel that people outside of their field have no business reviewing their work (look at the commenters on Techdirt who claim others should not comment on music/patents/laws/newspapers if they aren’t a musician/inventor/lawyer/journalist).
The attitude of these physicians is just one reason of a whole host as to why the healthcare system is one of the last industries holding out against the IT revolution. The argument that patients will freak out being exposed to the core information that leads to diagnoses is ridiculous. If someone is going to be overly anxious, it isn’t because they have information; they’ll be anxious because they have symptoms and a diagnosis, but little-to-no information. They’ll be anxious because the medical industry is unwilling to have a two-way conversation with the patient themselves.
There are many examples of this elitism when it comes to sourcing and analysis of information. Why is it that experts fail to recognize that more points of view have a greater opportunity for catching errors and bringing different perspectives to the forefront? In addition, bringing the patients into the conversation gets them involved in their own health stories, leading to many long term benefits and ultimately lower healthcare costs. But maybe this is another one of the reasons the healthcare industry is unwilling to change?