Epidemiologists Strive to Maintain Confidentiality of Some Health Data
JAMA. 1984 Nov 2; 252(17): 2377-2379, 2383.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are concerned over threats to their ability to protect the confidentiality of public health data collected during their investigations of disease outbreaks. Exemptions in the Privacy Act have resulted in recent congressional attempts to obtain records of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and efforts by attorneys to obtain the names of physicians and patients contacted during a hospital-requested investigation of an outbreak of bacteremic infections. Apprehensive that hospitals may stop requesting their assistance in infection control, the CDC are using a provision of the Public Health Service Act that permits the National Center for Health Statistics to keep confidential the identity of the institutions reporting health data, and are trying to secure passage of legislation that would specifically cover disease investigations. (KIE abstract)
Aids; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Communicable Diseases; Confidentiality; Disease; Disease Outbreaks; Data Banks; Epidemiology; Federal Government; Government; Health; Hospitals; Information Dissemination; Legislation; Patients; Physicians; Privacy; Public Health; Public Policy; Records; Reporting; Statistics;
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