LETTERS 4.1.2014

Letters from Genecin and Iqbal.

Mental health privacy

Regarding the column (“Fix Mental Health’s online system,” March 28) I feel it is important to clarify that confidential health care information (including appointment scheduling) provided by Yale Health’s new electronic health record system is available only to the patient and to anyone the patient designates as a proxy. If a patient wishes to add or subtract a proxy, he or she may do so at any time. No information regarding visits to the SHARE center is available in MyChart.

Improving patients’ access to important information about their health care is an essential benefit of electronic health records. Our members consistently request more access to this kind of information, and MyChart represents a significant improvement over previous patient portals that we have offered.

Activating a MyChart account is completely voluntary for Yale Health members. Information accessed through a password-protected MyChart account is completely confidential and viewable only by the account holder and any proxies that he or she has authorized to have access to this information. We discourage members from granting proxy access if they have any concerns about their proxies being able to view potentially sensitive information.

The categories of information viewable within MyChart include medication lists, problem lists, test results, vaccination records and future visits. MyChart also permits secure, confidential electronic communication between patients and their health care providers. We encourage anyone who is interested in engaging directly with their own health care information to open a MyChart account.

Paul Genecin

March 28

The author is the director of Yale Health.

Stop & Shop should label GMOs

Labeling genetically modified organisms is important to me because I have a right to know what is in my food. At times I’ve not bought certain products because they are likely genetically modified. So we should be proud that Connecticut was the first state to pass a law requiring the labeling of GMO foods. But even though we have a law on the books, it will be years before we see it enacted — four other states have to pass similar laws before ours takes effect.

That’s why Stop & Shop should label their store-brand products that contain GMOs. Consumers clearly want it, as the passage of our labeling law clearly shows.

My concern over GMOs is about the environment. Promoted as eco-friendly by reducing the use of herbicides and pesticides, GMOs have had the opposite effect. Plants are altered genetically to withstand chemical weed killers have shown increase in the use of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) on corn, soybeans and cotton.

As customers, consumers and citizens, we have a right to know what’s in our food, including whether it contains GMOs. Stop & Shop must label their store brand products.

Zanib Iqbal

March 28

The author is a senior at Southern Connecticut State University and an intern for ConnPIRG.

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