Civil Rights Law Section 79-J
Confidentiality of records in multi-state information system
1.An ongoing research and demonstration project called the multi-state information system for psychiatric patients located at Rockland state hospital in Rockland county has been developed by a number of cooperating states and is designed to provide a computer-based system for records and statistics of mental health patients in those states. The records stored by the multi-state information system are intended also for research and demonstration purposes concerning (1) the feasibility of computer-based record systems improving the quality of medical information available to clinicians treating psychiatric patients and (2) the quality of aggregate statistics to aid in planning, operating and monitoring psychiatric services. Such records are not intended to substitute for or replace original records retained in the cooperating mental health facilities and agencies. In order to protect the privacy of the information stored in such records which relates to patients in facilities outside of the state of New York, it is necessary and desirable that such records be declared confidential and not subject to examination in the courts or by agencies of this state.
2.The records and information concerning patients in mental health and related facilities located outside of the state of New York and currently or hereafter stored in the multi-state information system for psychiatric patients maintained at Rockland state hospital in the county of Rockland are not public records. Such records and information shall be confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena in any court or before any tribunal or administrative agency. Such records and information shall not be open for inspection by nor otherwise available to any agency or individual other than the agency or facility submitting the records or information and the technical staff of the multi-state information system except that the commissioner of mental hygiene shall have the power to conduct an annual review of the operation of the information system in order to assure its proper and lawful operation in the interest of the agencies and facilities contributing records and information to such system. Aggregate statistics drawn from the records stored, with all personal identification removed, may be released by the system for research and planning purposes.
3.Nothing in this act shall affect existing law with respect to the records of patients now or formerly treated in facilities in this state. The records stored in the multi-state information system described in subdivision two shall not be considered records of the department of mental hygiene.
Section 79-J — Confidentiality of records in multi-state information system,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVR/79-J (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).