I have been a patient at Central Maine Medical Center and have been for the past 10 years. I am writing this to inform others who are treated at CMMC that the hospital is involved in a program that automatically shares a patient's health information with other providers through a system called HealthInfoNet. It is supposed to make seeing other doctors easier, so they have the most up-to-date information.
Not only was I not made aware of this new program by the staff at the hospital, I had to take myself off the list.
Nearly everyone I have talked to had no idea their privacy was being compromised.
Not only are the records being shared with other providers, but to do so without a person's permission seems backward to me.
I have always been honest with my medical care providers and I wish to receive the same in return.
As a patient, I believe it is against my rights to automatically sign me up for a program I never wished to be part of.
Doctors are not gods; they make mistakes and unfortunately mistakes could follow patients around from provider to provider. As part of the residency program, I know that all too well.
Jessica Hutchinson, Auburn
Editor's note: According to a CMMC spokesman, when a patient comes to the hospital for care, they receive a Notice of Privacy document that explains HealthInfoNet is an opt-out program, including instructions about how patients can opt out. If a patient doesn't opt out, they are, by default, opted in. According to the hospital, patient information is shared only among HealthInfoNet participants, and users must have a valid reason for accessing patient information.