I was delighted to see an article on "Privacy and Your Health Information" (Patient Education Series, December 2009).* Your clear, concise summary of this important topic is excellent. In fact, I'm tempted to give it to some healthcare employees who seem to need it more than the patients do.
One of the first points in the article states, "By law, you have the right to ask to see and get copies of your health records." Just this past year, I called a radiologist to request a copy of my own magnetic resonance imaging report. The secretary apologized and said she's allowed to give that report only to my physician!! When I mentioned this to other coworkers and friends, many of them reported similar experiences.
So although we nurses are busy educating our patients about their rights, healthcare facilities of all kinds must educate their employees-not only about protecting patients' privacy but also about recognizing patients' rights to their own medical records.
-TERRY FUCHS, RN
* Individual subscribers can also access these articles free online at http://www.nursing2010.com. [Context Link]