RI ACLU takes legal action over patient records database

Providence, R.I. – A civil liberties group is suing the Rhode Island Department of Health over the creation of a centralized database of patient health records.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday by the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and says the health department has failed to create rules to protect a patient's privacy rights.

The database emerged from 2008 legislation and will permit medical workers to access a patient's entire medical file. The ACLU says the health department hasn't presented enough information about how the database will work or how it will protect patients' privacy.

The attorney general's office is representing the health
department in the lawsuit and said it had no immediate comment.