Medical Records Law
The purpose of this blog has always been to empower women and give them information free of charge. I have tried to tackle just about every subject to make the lives easier for women who suffer in pain. It is because of all they share with me that I realize how important a subject this is for many. Empowerment is how we can change the course of something terrible that has happened to us and try to help ourselves move forward.
First, I am aware that women from around the world of many English speaking countries read this blog. I will include a couple of links for two countries at the bottom and explain key words to search yours.
If you are a woman reading this that had a very recent implant and now feels very worried for your future, you can do something that will help you. Get your HOSPITAL records from your surgery as quickly as possible and store them with all your other important papers. Take them with you wherever you move to and mark what they are clearly. This could help someone in your family who realizes you are ill in later years. I am contacted often by daughters and sometimes sons because they are very worried about their mothers. I am also concerned with what happens to a woman when she is older and cannot remember which hospital did her implant surgery. It is made difficult for anyone other than the patient to get access to records and these are important when seeking future help. The second thing you can do for yourself is equally as important. Listen to your body. If you never had an illness before the implant and you find yourself being diagnosed with illnesses that seem sudden and strange and you have many of the symptoms of mesh complications, believe in yourself. Get to a doctor who will not dismiss your fears and will research and study this issue.
In this country, be aware that the implant name and number will only be in your hospital records and not your doctor’s.
Even though I was born in England I have lived in this country for forty-three years. Therefore I am a U.S. citizen and regard myself as an American. When we research we usually are reaching out in our own zone of the Internet. I use Google and if I want to change to another country I will add that country on the end of what I am asking. For this search I put in ‘medical records laws’ and then if applicable another country or U.K. Then I click into different links until I find the most informative. For this country I came upon a really great article written by an attorney about the medical paperwork laws. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/rpt/2006-r-0599.htm I am adding a few excerpts from this article but there is a great deal of information that you can read according to your situation.
First how long must your doctor keep your records?
RETENTION OF MEDICAL RECORDS—INDIVIDUAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
How Long Must a Health Care Provider Keep a Patient’s Medical Records?
Generally, a provider must retain a patient’s medical records for seven years after the last treatment date, or three years from the patient’s death. (Department of Public Health (DPH) Regs. § 19a-14-42).
Pathology slides, EEGs, and ECG tracings must also be retained for seven years, but as subsequent ECGs are taken, previous ones may be discarded if the results are unchanged. (DPH Regs. § 19a-14-42(a)).
Lab reports and PKU reports must be kept for five years and X-ray film for three years. (DPH Regs., § 19a-14-42(b), (c)).
Many women have told me that the place where they had their surgery closed down and they asked me what they should do. That is why I am writing this blog. First do not have instant fear that you may never know what was put into your body. If that has happened in your, case this will apply to you.
How Long Must a Hospital Retain a Patient’s Records?
Medical records must be filed in an accessible manner in THE HOSPITAL AND KEPT A MINIMUM OF 25 YEARS AFTER THE PATIENT’S DISCHARGE. ORIGINAL RECORDS CAN BE DESTROYED SOONER IF THEY ARE MICROFILMED BY A PROCESS APPROVED BY DPH. (DPH REGS. § 19-13-D3(D)(6)).
What Happens to the Records if a Health Care Institution Closes?
When a health care institution that ceases operations gives up its license to DPH, it must provide the department with a certified document specifying where its patient health records will be stored and the procedure for patients, former patients or their authorized representatives to access the records. (PA 05-272; CGS §
The link also has costs of records and storage laws of how your records must be legally stored.
If you live in the U.K, you can read this link http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.dh.gov.uk/en/Managingyourorganisation/Informationpolicy/Patientconfidentialityandcaldicottguardians/FAQ/DH_065886
If you live in Canada you can read here but it seems you may have a different law for various areas. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/medical-records
This blog is meant to be a guideline and I hope it helps you search for your own information.