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Geisinger Using Patient Database to Assess Fracking Harm

Geisinger Health System, a nonprofit chain of hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania, plans to use its database of patient records to determine whether natural gas drilling in the state’s Marcellus shale is harming residents.

The hospital system began planning the project last year and started mining hundreds of thousands of medical records in recent weeks, David Carey, the director of Geisinger’s Weis Center for Research, said in an interview at a conference in Washington. Carey said Danville, Pennsylvania-based Geisinger is talking with foundations, the government and the gas industry about contributing money to expand the project.