Grace Young, MD


Life Support for Confidentiality in the Electronic Database

August 01, 1997

Many of us have heard the horror stories and seen them reported on the national news wire services: publicly known persons or their family members have their medical records published, names of HIV-positive persons are released, clerks are bribed to deliver the names of patients and their diagnoses, physicians are given free software in return for their lists of patients' names and addresses. It is not that these breaches of confidentiality could not and did not take place with hard copy medical records, it is just that they are so much easier to accomplish now, and can be done in great number and from remote locations, anonymously.