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Ghana Med J. 2011 Sep;45(3):115-24.

Ethics and electronic health information technology: challenges for evidence-based medicine and the physician-patient relationship.

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  • 1Department of Biological, Environmental & Occupational Health Science, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG 13, Legon, Accra, Ghana.



The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and the National Identification Authority (NIA), pose ethical challenges to the physician-patient relationship due to interoperability. This paper explores (1) the national legislation on Electronic Health Information Technology (EHIT), (2) the ethics of information technology and public health and (3) the effect on the Physician-patient relationship.


This study consisted of systematic literature and internet review of the legislation, information technology, the national health insurance program, and the physician-patient relationship.


The result shows that (1) EHIT have eroded a big part of the confidentiality between the physician and patient; (2) The encroachment on privacy is an inevitable outcome of EHIT; (3) Legislation on privacy, the collection, storage and uses of electronic health information is needed and; (4) the nexus between EHIT, NHIS, NHA, Ethics, the physician-patient relationship and privacy.


The study highlights the lack of protection for physician-patient relationship as medical practice transitions from the conventional to the modern, information technology driven domain.


Electronic Health Information; Legislation; National Health Insurance Scheme; National Identification Authority; Physician-patient Relationship; Public Health

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