November 5, 2012
Administrative Ethics Paper
In today’s world of technology patient’s face an ever challenging issue of protecting their privacy. One of the biggest areas infringing on a patient’s privacy would be the prescription health information that is being released by pharmacists and the way in which that information is used. Information is given to a wide variety of entities and to individuals, which raises enormous concern about the privacy rights of patients, especially considering the fact that the patient has not given consent for the release of this information.
Legislative and judicial attention is being given on how to protect privacy identifiable information on prescription data and the harm that can be done by the release of this information. There is a lot of focus on exploring privacy issues with regard to personal health information (PHI), especially with the prescription drugs containing so much information.
The computerized databases in a pharmacy collect a host of patient information including the patient’s address, the patient’s name, the date it was filled, the place it was filled, the patient’s gender and age, the prescribing physician, what drug was prescribed, the dosage, and how many pills.
How a patient’s information is used once it is de-identified most likely doesn’t even cross anyone’s mind because most patients don’t realize that anyone other than the pharmacist, the doctor, and the insurance company for processing the claim, are going to see it.
There is a long list of companies and individuals that want the patient prescription PHI, including lawyers, educators, researches that are performing clinical trials, marketing purposes, government officials, and employers.
The article, Somebody’s Watching Me, lays the groundwork in legally developing the framework for protecting the privacy of patient prescription PHI, especially the information on de-identified PHI. There are 5...