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RI ACLU sues over database of patient records

June 29, 2010

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A civil liberties group is suing the Rhode Island Department of Health over the creation of a centralized database of patient health records.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, says the health department has failed to create rules to protect a patient's privacy rights.

The database emerged from 2008 legislation and will permit medical workers to access a patient's entire medical file. The ACLU says the health department hasn't presented enough information about how the database will work or how it will protect patients' privacy.

The attorney general's office, which is representing the health department in the lawsuit, said it had no immediate comment.

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