Be Smart About Your Medical Records
It is ever so important that you always get copies of your medical records. Most health care providers are only required to maintain patient files for a period of seven years. As you probably now realize, any issues that you may have relating to a defective product used during a surgery or medical procedure may take years to show up. The more time that passes the more difficult it becomes to obtain a complete record or any records at all. Even prior to the expiration of the time limit that a health care provider is supposed to keep your records, the records are often times sent to a storage facility or transferred to a digital format. It is during this transfer that pages or complete records can be lost.
It is very difficult to prove any type of case related to problems that you encounter with a surgery or health care procedure when you do not have the records to back up your claims. Do not hesitate to ask the receptionist for a copy of your records at the completion of each visit to your heath care provider or any procedure you have. It is much better to protect your information now rather than have to go back at a later date and put together a record of what transpired with your health care provider. Additionally, health care providers are sometimes suspicious of attorneys.
They are worried that they are going to be the one to come under the legal microscope and are sometimes hesitant to produce records when they are requested and may delay providing the records to the requesting attorney. If you find yourself involved in litigation due to a healthcare related incident, always make sure that when filling out your forms prior to a visit with the health care provider that you include your attorney’s name and address as someone you authorize to obtain your private health care information.