Securing Access to Medical Records

Securing Access to Medical Records

Securing Access to Medical Records

Medical records are a very important source of information for the work we do every day at Bordas & Bordas. In nursing home and medical malpractice cases, the proof of the negligence is often contained in the medical records.  In our trucking disaster cases, the severe and significant injuries suffered by our clients are documented in those records as well. Some people might not realize it, but the law guarantees a person’s access to their own medical records.  As long as the request is properly made and, in most cases, a reasonable fee is paid, a healthcare provider cannot deny a person’s access to their own medical records.  If the healthcare provider refuses to comply with a legitimate request, the law allows the patient to utilize to the court system to guarantee access. The ability to request records extends not only to the patient, but to any duly authorized representative, which provides one more reason, among many others, to consider drafting a health care power of attorney.  In situations where the patient has died, the power to request medical records resides in the duly appointed representative of the decedent’s estate. However, just because a health care provider supplies some of the medical records doesn’t mean they have turned over everything.  Fortunately, we have a very experienced staff that knows what to look for.  Are there missing lab results?  Are all of the nurses’ notes included in the production?  Did we get all of the relevant admissions or just some of them?  It is often the case that we will have to seek out additional or supplemental records that were not produced the first time around. Fortunately, the law guarantees patients and their representatives access to these records, which can often make the all the difference in the case.