Adventures of a Midwest Transplant

Getting Access To Your Records

After watching far too many episodes of Leverage, and through the course of my job, I’ve realized something.

If someone wanted access to your records, it’d be pretty easy to get.

People call in to my job asking about people’s donor status, test results, surgical history, etc. If their call seems to be from one of our partner agencies, they get the information. We don’t confirm identities or anything. We just take people’s word for it.

Everything is recorded and verified. Eventually verified. It’s that “eventually” part that worried me.

It kind of freaks me out to know how easy a person’s information can be accessed. We bypass HIPAA or rather have an exception to HIPAA that allows us access to everyone’s information. By proxy, so do our partner agencies.

All the stuff that we figure is kept safe in our doctor’s files is open for the world to see. Now if you have no crazy stuff going on, you’re fine. Also, most of the time we access someone’s records, they’re dead or about to be dead. And it you’re dead, are you concerned about your records anymore? No, you’re not.

There is the occasional patient who gets called into us because they’re on a ventilator. We get all their information and share it with our partner agencies. But then they don’t die and all they’re stuff is out there.

No one at my office is selling medical histories on the black market, or whereever you’d sell that kind of stuff. We take our jobs very seriously. As far as I know, there’s never been a breach of confidentiality. Considering that we get hundreds of calls every single day (lots o’ people die in Illinois), that’s a very big success rate.

This is mostly because of my too many episodes of Leverage. but let’s say someone wanted to access a recently deceased person’s records for nefarious purposes. I’m not going to say what they’d do to get it ( *cough* fake being an employee of another agency *cough*), but most of our business is conducted by phone and fax. Hardison and Parker would have all our shit in like 10 min flat.

But enough worrying… your records are fine… Probably…

I apologize because I did write this at like 5:00 am, when really sleepy at work. I get like this. And I watch too much TV.

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