Commentary: Who's Prying Now?

Hospitals and Web sites sell health records online--compromising patient privacy

When Jamie Smith was admitted to Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston in 1993 for a rare ectopic pregnancy disorder, she discovered that about a half-dozen hospital workers had reviewed her records without her permission. So just before Smith left the hospital, she requested in writing that her records remain confidential. As a precaution, she also requested that the hospital maintain an audit trail of her file, so that she could track who accessed it over time.

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