Home > Liens, News > Medical Records of 300k Californians Posted Online

Medical Records of 300k Californians Posted Online

The San Francisco Chronicle has an interesting article on the state of medical records in California.  Apparently, “medical files belonging to nearly 300,000 Californians sat unsecured on the Internet for the entire world to see.”

It appears that a consulting firm working to collect unpaid workers’ compensation bills for doctors and hospitals, mercifully to remain nameless, put the files online.  The firm mistakenly believed that only its own employees could see the files.

I’m a big fan of modern technology in general and the paper-less world especially.  That being said, even though fire was a wonderful invention, it came with its own dangers and to this day it must be handled with care.

Defendants and defense attorneys can benefit greatly from paperless environments – no more coffee-stained original documents; access for the entire office at the same time to any file; service of all medical records by CD or e-mail.

At the same time, records get accidentally attached and sent; e-mails are dispatched that should have been filtered (read: censored) by cooler heads; and, as here, the medical records of unsuspecting individuals are made available for the world to see.

Given the facts of this story, the defendants in the victims’ respective workers’ compensation cases are blameless (and probably safe from liability).  However, such a slip-up could have easily happened to a private investigator firm hired by a third-party administrator or a careless Agreed Medical Evaluator’s office.

In other words, the modern professional need not fear technology or the paperless environment any more than he or she fears a camp fire; but the same attention and care that goes into keeping a camp fire safe and contained should go into keeping that precious information neatly under a tight lid.

As your caveman author chisels this blog post into a stone tablet, he wishes you the safe and successful use of modern technology to increase your efficiency and reduce your costs, hopefully without the price of a privacy and security breach.

Categories: Liens, News
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