Unfiltered Story #67031

Altamont, NY, USA | Unfiltered | December 11, 2015

(I work in the pharmacy department of a grocery store. We offer walk-in flu shots. A customer comes to the pharmacy counter.)

Customer: “Can I get a flu shot?”

Me: “Sure! We just need to have you fill out some paper work. Just need you to fill out this consent form and the certificate of immunization.”

(The consent form and the certificate require a full name, address, date of birth, and any kind of medical history that relates to the flu shot such as reaction to needles, if you are currently sick, and if you have received any other vaccines in the past two months. The customer comes back to the counter.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but what do you plan on doing with all of this personal information? I’m not comfortable with giving this to you just like that.”

Pharmacist: “The way we process the flu shot is just like how we process a regular prescription from your doctor. In order to do that, we need your address, phone number, date of birth, and any known drug allergies to put in our system.”

Customer: “But what else do you plan to do with it. I’m not about to give this information to some big corporation so they can sell it to mailing lists and telemarketers.”

Pharmacist: “That will not happen, I can assure you. That would be a violation of HIPAA, which protects all of your personal information in health care. If we were to violate that, it would be a felony and we would lose our pharmacy license. It’s honestly not worth my career to sell your information to other companies.”

Customer: “(hesitantly) Well, ok…”

(The customer leaves the counter again to sit and fill out the forms, only to come back again and give me a blank certificate of immunization.)

Customer: “I’m just going to get my flu shot from my doctor. I don’t trust you big corporations with my personal information!”

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