On Saturday, March 6th,2010, at around 1:45 in the afternoon, I went to the [City] branch of the [Clinic Name] to have labwork done. While I was filling out the information slip, a young girl [I would estimate around age 10 or so] came around the corner from the booths and wentbehind the desk. Taking the slips of paper with patient informationon them, she looked through them and placed them back in the tray.
After I sat down to wait, she pickedup the slips again, read them more thoroughly and, with four other people in the waiting room, asked me “Is your name really [my name]?” Now, while I am aware that first names are common to hear in a setting such as this one [techs calling you back for your blood draws, etc], I am concerned about the fact that she also had access to my last name, birthdate, and my doctor's information. She also read through another patient's lab slip, which appeared to have name, date of birth, clinic ID number, and what tests she was having [Iknow what these slips have on them because I have had the same slips in the past]. While she was doing this she had some sort of snack in her mouth and would play with it and then touch things on the countersuch as the computer and the printer.
After that she started using the computer, and while I cannot say what she was looking at, based on what happened next I can only assume she was looking at patient files. At that point the tech for the day came out and instead of confronting the girl acted as if it were perfectly natural for her tobe there – asking which person was first, what they were havingdone for lab work [imaging or blood draws], and other things of that nature.
Shortly after this exchange took placeI heard a woman's voice calling “[name]!” and at this the girl picked up a bag, shouted goodbye to the tech, and left.
I am extremely concerned at the lack of care to preserve patient privacy and at the violations of legal obligations to the same. I do believe that the standard of care that I have come to expect from [Clinic Name] were not upheld in the slightest, and I am now forced to wonder who else has unauthorized access to my private health information that is protected by law.
If this problem is not rectified I will be contacting the American Medical Association as well as the Better Business Bureau to report these violations and to get adequate remedial measures.
I really wish I was joking about this. I'm not. This really happened today and omg so bloody pissed off. A friend of mine in law school is helping me to tweak things out and make it more ... shall we say, clout-y?