Much of what the self-appointed privacy "screechers" have demanded and gotten in the HIPAA regulations have little resemblance to the real-world concerns of patients ("Privacy Isn't The Only Thing That's Important," June 28, 2004). My organization is scrupulous about HIPAA, but we're mindful of our primary mission: to heal. HIPAA has been de rigueur at every site for more than a year, and, to this date, not one patient has exercised some of the arcane "rights" provided in the Privacy Rule. This in more than 1 million patient visits!
Still we have soldiered on, establishing and training more than 14,000 staff members on special procedures in case a patient ever does ask for an accounting of disclosures, for instance.
I only wish our national leadership could politely tell the screechers, "Thank you for your input, but please step aside--we have a job to do."
Gary N. Lacher Michigan
Bob Evans needs to do a bit more research before he uses airline meal requests as an example of data-privacy "lunacy." I agree with his premise; however, special meal requests on airlines are most often placed by religious Jews who must eat Kosher food. If he had thought it through, he might have figured out that a terrorist looking to kill as many Jews as possible would use this public information to determine the best flight to target.
Jeffrey Easton Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ask What Workers Want
I always ask what makes people happy to do their jobs and stay at a company ("IT Workers' Morale Mired In A Slump," June 21, 2004). A lot has to do with the company culture, types of IT employees, type of industry, location, and upper management. Many times, management can't give everything to workers, but open and frank discussion makes everyone more successful.
Our retention is at 94% annually over the last five years. I think that says it all.
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