Why It Is Important to Read Your Medical Records.

Here it is in a nutshell.  Take the time to read a copy of your medical record because some of the information may be incorrect.  Impossible to imagine because the record is supposed to be your information, your test results and doctor’s notes.  However, mistakes are made from incorrect diagnosis to having another patient’s lab results to wrong healthcare proxy papers.

Problems can occur when a medical professiona,l whether a doctor, nurse, social worker or case manager enters the wrong information reported by you or another doctor.  For instance, I had a client tell me one time, he reported to his doctor he was feeling sad from the loss of a friend.  The doctor wrote in the chart he was depressed.  My client was not depressed, and had no history of depression.  He didn’t know this was in his chart.  When he went to get life insurance, the request was delayed because of the depression diagnosis in his chart.  He told me he sent a scathing reply to the insurance company and  another to the doctor.  A scenario no one wants to happen is an incorrect medical diagnosis in the chart during an emergency.  Incorrect information could change the the course of needed treatment.

I have had clients report incorrect past and family history, other patients lab results, incorrect medication lists and allergies.  Other’s have told me of doctor’s notes describing conversations or actions that didn’t happen.

Getting a copy of medical records should be a simple process.  Fill out a HIPAA form and submit it to the medical records department.  HIPAA law states, if there is an error in the notes, you have the right to get it corrected.  The request needs to be in writing.  It isn’t an easy process to expunge incorrect information from the chart and vigilance is required.   Request the medical office to provide you with a copy of the updated chart once the change has occurred.  If the office will not make the change, contact the regional Office of Civil Rights which hears all HIPAA complaints.  http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/