Can a co-worker view my medical records without my permission?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2011

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Can a co-worker view my medical records without my permission?

I am a physician assistant; I was off work for a week in the emergency room and even admitted to the hospital for a total of 3 days. The doctor I work with is affiliated with the hospital I was in. When I returned to work I was I found out the office manger a other members of the staff had log into the hospital system and viewed my personal medical records and test result dozens of time over my stay at the hospital. I do not get along with these people and they had no business viewing my chart. The doctor is refusing to fire them and it is becoming a hostile work environment. What are my options; I have printout showing each and every login and what they viewed.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your co-workers viewed your medical records at your place of employment in violation of office protocol and office handbook, then they were not allowed to do so unless the viewing of them were in conjunction with any treatment or analysis of your phyical condition at your place of employment.

Meaning, if you were being treated or your condition was being analyzed at your work with your permission and authorization, the viewing of your medical records as part of such treatment would be normal for what you authorized.

However, if your employees simply viewed your medical records at your place of work to be nosy and without any justifiable basis, what they did was improper and a breach of your right of privacy.

You need to follow up your complaints with your employer about this improper viewing of your records and request that the offenders be disciplined. Make sure that your grievance to your employer be made in writing and that you keep a copy for future reference and need.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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