Right of Patients to Medical Records
When you go for a doctor’s visit, especially when seeing a new doctor for the first time, be prepared. Anticipate being asked questions about your medical and family history, preexisting conditions, and medications you are taking. Make sure you advise your medical provider of the nature and extent of all your current complaints and symptoms. The information you provide is crucial to diagnosis and the recording of such information by the medical provider is often critical to your obtaining proper treatment and a more favorable prognosis. You may be surprised to learn upon a review of your records that significant symptoms or conditions about which you had complained were not noted in your chart.
If you have any questions about your medical care, always keep in mind that you have an absolute right to inspect and obtain a copy of your medical records. In fact, if you are going to obtain a second opinion or consultation with a specialist, it may expedite diagnosis and treatment if you bring with you a copy of your documents and radiology films pertinent to your medical condition. Under New York law, upon written request, patients are entitled to inspection and obtain copies of their medical records and radiology films within fourteen days.
If you have any concerns or doubts about what is being written or noted in your medical records by your treating physician, ask to inspect and/or get copies of them. Consider the case of the women whose complaints on several office visits to her doctor about abnormal bowel movements were not noted in her chart. Her physician’s failure to accurately record her complaints in her medical records resulted in his failing to consider that this was a symptom of colon scanner. As a result of the significant delay in diagnosing and treating her condition, she required much more drastic intervention and surgery and was deprived of the substantial possibility of a better outcome and favorable prognosis.
The accuracy of completeness of information in your medical records can bear directly on your obtaining the proper care and treatment you deserve. If you suspect that your injuries or physical condition may be the result of the failure to properly note and monitor your condition or complaints, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Know your rights, but also know what you need to protect them.
To speak with an experienced NY medical malpractice lawyer please call us at: (718) 522 1020