Medical records are a crucial component of any case involving medical malpractice. The majority of the time, hospitals and healthcare administrators keep all of their patients’ records. You should gather as many of your medical records as you can in order to give them to your lawyer if you are involved in a medical malpractice case. Unfortunately, you might experience a significant slowdown once the hospital or care facility learns you are requesting your records in order to file a medical malpractice claim. Being the victim of medical malpractice is already a frustrating situation, but administrative delays will only make things worse. Working with your lawyer to obtain your records can make the process easier.
Ways for your Medical Malpractice Attorney to get Records
There are a few options available to you when you want to get your records. Sensitive information is regarded as being contained in medical records. Since they cannot be given to just anyone, you might have to get them on your own. You can ask your lawyer to use a subpoena if the hospital is giving you the runaround.
Requesting a Hospital Directly
You have a right to always be able to access your own records. There are some, albeit uncommon, exceptions to this rule, such as when records of psychotherapy or mental illness could endanger the patient physically. However, in general, when you ask a hospital or other care facility for your records, they have to give them to you. For requesting records, many hospitals and care facilities have their own procedures. This may require writing letters or completing request forms. For granting file requests, many hospitals have a drawn-out and challenging process.
Additionally, slowing down the process, healthcare administrators occasionally use outside vendors to store records. The care center will probably have its own procedure for you to authorize the release of your records to your attorney if you are working with one.
Those medical records are now crucial to the development of your case after it has been filed. This implies that you can subpoena the records you require for the case if the facility holding your records is causing unwarranted delays. A court order known as a subpoena is used to compel the production of crucial records or evidence. In order to obtain those records for you, your attorney will know how to issue a subpoena. The care facility must adhere to a subpoena.
Retaining the Documents/ Records
Retaining your own records is the simplest way to make the record-gathering process simpler for both you and your medical malpractice attorney. You will probably receive at least some of the relevant records after being admitted to a hospital. It is crucial to keep these documents on hand and to keep them for yourself. Sometimes it takes time to identify medical malpractice. When evidence of medical negligence is discovered and you decide to file a claim, keeping your records can make the process easier. You can store your records digitally or in a file folder if you are able to keep them.
What to Request/ Demand
There are several things to request when it’s time to get your records. Generally speaking, the more information you can gather at the outset of a medical malpractice case, the better. You may want to keep or look for records related to, but not limited to:
Discharge Reports – You will receive reports and possibly post-hospital care instructions when you are released from hospital care, along with a summary of your hospital care. For patients, the period following discharge can be risky and complicated, and proper home care instruction can be just as crucial as quality hospital care.
Surgical Records – If you’ve had surgery, you’ll want a record of the procedures performed. All surgical choices and procedures are documented and used to inform future decisions about your care. These records will be useful to you and your lawyer if anything goes wrong during surgery.
Initial Diagnosis – As soon as you seek medical attention, the doctor will examine your symptoms and start looking for a cure. As new symptoms appear, you should get your initial diagnosis as well as any follow-up diagnoses. Doctors use these when deciding how to handle your care and how to live.
Prescriptions – You will be given prescriptions for drugs to help you with either pain or recovery when you leave hospital care. The healthcare industry is so fragmented that an error can happen at any point between the time you leave the hospital and the time you receive your medication.
Medical History – When you are under a doctor’s care, decisions are based on your medical history as well as any family medical history. Expert witnesses are frequently used in medical malpractice cases to examine medical records and determine what went wrong with your doctor.
Results of Lab Tests – You will typically be asked to perform a number of tests in a healthcare setting. Doctors use tests as a tool for decision-making and to form an opinion about what your illness is. Test results, like medical histories, can be revisited in court by an expert witness.
You should have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer on your side if you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you must call some Prescott medical malpractice lawyer right away.