[ Tuesday, August 19, 2008 ]
More medical record snooping issues:
This time from Iowa
. Part of the problem is healthcare employees snooping in medical records. This is understandable and should be expected. It's not acceptable, and those who do it should be severely punished. And since it's predictable, healthcare providers should be on the lookout for it, and should make an example of anyone who gets caught. Other employees will remember the guy who got fired for snooping whenever their natural curiosity leads them to consider snooping.
The other part of the story is in some ways more troubling. It's understandable that healthcare providers, drug and device makers, and others want to advertise their products to increase their business. There's even an altruism claim there, that they are helping inform people who are suffering about products and services that can make their life better. The freeways in Dallas are populated with billboards from the big North Texas hospital systems with stories of diseases cured and medical problems solved, complete with the picture of the now-healthy patient. But if you're going to use someone's PHI to tout your product, you'd better make good and sure you have the absolutely clear consent of that person. Before you name a name, you'd better double-check that you've got consent. It could get ugly otherwise.
Jeff [12:37 PM]
Blogger: HIPAA Blog - Edit your Template