Friday, August 31, 2012

Exeter Hospital: Turning over records to state could violate patient privacy

August 31, 2012 | By Karen Cheung-Larivee

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) ordered Exeter Hospital to release patient records as part of an ongoing investigation of the hepatitis C outbreak, thought to have originated at the community hospital, but is it legal?
Exeter Hospital said it is seeking legal guidance on whether turning over private patient information to the state violates privacy laws.
So far, 32 people, including patients and a hospital employee, have been affected by David Kwiatkowski, the traveling lab technician accused of spreading hepatitis C across the nation by diverting Fentanyl and leaving contaminated needles for other patients to use.
Although Exeter Hospital said it supports the public health department's efforts "to identify all victims of David Kwiatkowski's alleged criminal activity," the state's request for "broad access" of the hospital's medical record systems may violate federal and state laws..........

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