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Florida DOH finalizing drug database security proposal

By Patrick Ouellette

- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is in the process of coming up with more concrete details regarding how it plans on fixing the state’s online prescription database to alleviate fears that it will compromise patient data safety. The DOH had previously explained its plans to review the database and the current safeguards in place after questions came out about patient data access in six criminal cases back in June.

During a DOH workshop this week, some were concerned that the public hadn’t yet provided feedback or that the proposed changes may not have enough teeth. According to tbo.com, Quincy Police Chief Walt McNeil argued that enough is being done currently to keep the data safe. “I think you’ll find, for the most part, agencies guard confidential information confidentially,” said McNeil, a former Tallahassee police chief who has also headed the state’s departments of juvenile justice and corrections.

Additionally, Pamela Burch Fort, ACLU spokeswoman, called the changes “minor (and) inconsequential” and said they already reflect existing law.

 

However, the DOH said that it will take public comments into account before it makes its final proposal in September. Health Department lawyers will continue rewriting the new rules then publish them in legal bulletins for further review and comment.

 

”We wanted to make sure that we feel like it’s secure. Security is priority number one for the Department of Health on health information,” said Deputy Secretary Marty Stubblefield said to wctv.tv. “The biggest changes on who we accept as having access being able to deny access as well as being able to say this person is too much.”

 

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