Dataveillance and the Medical Industry: An Exploratory Study of South Texas Best Practices

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Kathleen M. Light


Robert L. Ryan


Sara Kolb


Elizabeth Hewins


The use o f dataveillance has increased significantly over the last decade, as has the concern over personal privacy. The monitoring of personal data through the use of computerized databases is not only controversial, but also raises issues of trust in surveillance and privacy. The purpose of this research was to (a) provide a better understanding of the impact that advanced identification technologies are having on the medical industry; (b) identify ways in which the social acceptability or unacceptability of identification systems and other aspects of information technology are likely to present limiting factors on their application in the medical field, and (c) describe the possible systems and regulations that might provide necessary limits on the use of these technologies, beyond the self-imposed restraints of the individuals and organizations involved in their development and application. The methodology for this research The methodology for this research included a review of the literature to identify best practices studies in general and more specifically in the field of medical dataveillance. Second, a questionnaire was sent to Compliance and Privacy Officers with medical health information expertise to provide “expert” information on medical dataveillance (data and surveillance) that are considered best practices. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 participants at nine metro and non-metro profit and non-profit short-term general acute health care facilities in South Texas. A series of questions were administered to each respondent, responses were placed into domains, and the domains were analyzed for likenesses, which might be considered best practices. The findings of this study identified ten best practices in medical dataveillance in South Texas. The ten best practices most often identified by the respondents in order of importance were: (a) executive support (b) current and applicable policies and procedures, (c) security, (d) access and disclosure control, (e) creative training, (f) awareness, and personal responsibility, (g) managing the “human factor,” (h) teamwork, (i) organized processes, and (j) unannounced walk-throughs.

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