Feds Reopen Malpractice Database, With Caveats
UPDATE: “How Complaints From a Single Doctor Caused the Gov’t to Take Down a Public Database” (via ProPublica)
The federal government reopened public access to a database of malpractice claims and damages paid by doctors, with new restrictions that would prohibit using it in any way to identify the physicians.
Consumer advocates and journalism groups for the past two months have been fighting a decision by the Health Resources and Services Administration to cut access to its “public use file” of the database over concerns of a breach of one doctor’s confidentiality.
HRSA is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency on Wednesday reinstated the public use file, but with three new restrictions.
One prohibits using the data alone, or in combination with other research, to identify any of the doctors or entities. A second requires that people return, delete or destroy copies of the data at HRSA’s request. The third bans reposting of the raw data and only allows its disclosure as part of statistical reporting or analysis.
Read the Complete Reuters Story
See Also: Official Statement From HRSA
See Also: Direct to the Data File
See Also: Access to Information: “Public Database That Tracks Physicians’ Malpractice Records Should Be Restored” (September 20, 2011)
Filed under: Data Files, News
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.