For my new job, there is the usual health physical and as part of that they want my immunization record. So yesterday I called my primary care doctor's office to request that they fax my record. Oh, can't do that. HIPAA, you know. Have to protect your personal medical information. Now my entire record consists of the fact that I had tetanus shot on 10-31-1997. Somehow this doesn't seem like very sensitive information. If you can figure out how it could be misused, let me know.
Anyway, they could mail it to me. Or if I want it today or tomorrow I could come pick it up. (What's another 11 miles? Only time and gas.)
So I decided I'd go get it today. (I stopped at the Farmer's Market too so I did get some other good out of the trip.) I maneuver my way through the road construction, park and go in. On the other side of the front desk are more than half a dozen staff. But I don't know any of them, and none of them knows me. I tell the woman at the window my name and that I am picking up my immunization record. She goes to a shelf, gets the paper, and hands it to me. Does she ask for any identification? No. I could have been anybody.
I'm not saying that HIPAA isn't important, but let's use some sense. Their bureaucracy has a rule that inconveniences their patients without providing real protection. They think they are avoiding risk but what they are really avoiding is requiring anybody to have to think.
I had already decided that it was about time to look for a new doctor because of his attitude. Seems like this is just one more reason.