Magazine article Information Management

Pharmacy Records Found in Public Restroom

Magazine article Information Management

Pharmacy Records Found in Public Restroom

Article excerpt

Storing customer records in an unlocked file cabinet in a public restroom is not a wise legal or public relations move. But that's where a Walgreens in Creve Coeur, Missouri, was reportedly storing hundreds of prescription records more than a decade old.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, at least one customer informed managers about the possible privacy violation after noticing the worn four-drawer file cabinet in the women's restroom. The unlocked cabinet sat beneath the paper towel dispenser, between the sink and a full-length, padlocked locker. Looking for toilet paper, the customer pulled on one of the cabinet's rusty handles and found prescriptions bundled by date, about a month's worth in each file. When she returned to the store a few days later, however, she found the cabinet and its contents were still there, despite management's assurances to her that it would be taken care of.

Allowing prescriptions to be accessible by the general public is a violation of federal privacy laws. …

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