Usually when you go to the doctor’s office or some other medical facility to have your blood drawn and analyzed the only pain you suffer is from the prick of the needle.
But if you went to a certain health care provider in North Las Vegas, Nevada, you stood to lose more than a few drops of claret. The technician there has been accused of stealing patient information and using it to apply for credit cards.
The 41-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to the identity theft charge.
In this time of heightened privacy awareness when people take extra care to guard their sensitive information for personal as well as financial reasons, people who work in health-related fields bear an extra responsibility.
Used in harmful ways
If a person’s health information gets out it can be used in a number of harmful ways. Job offers could disappear if there are mental health issues or any history of addiction or substance abuse.
Other information such as medication you might be taking or injuries suffered could potentially cause embarrassment or make you uncomfortable if it was made known.
And of course there are the financial concerns. If you or a loved one are sick and need treatment the last thing you need to worry about are unauthorized people getting their hands on your financial digits.
If you haven’t already experienced it, getting your credit card statement with thousands of dollars of unfamiliar charges on it is enough of a shock to put you in the hospital.
Concentrate on medicine
Often the doctor you see has enough on his or her plate just treating patients. Business matters are best left to managers and experts in that field so the doctor can concentrate on medicine.
That makes it crucial that the right people are in those jobs so patients and their doctors can feel confident that standard practices are being followed in the areas of privacy and financial transactions.
Let this be a reminder that people who hire and fire health care employees should take every possible measure to ensure that jobs in their work places are staffed by only the most honest and trustworthy people.