Patients have many reasons for wanting a copy of their doctor’s or hospital records. Could be they want to see what tests were done and what the results were. They also might want to take the records to another doctor for a second opinion. Another reason is simply for family records. Of course, sometimes they want to show them to a medical malpractice lawyer to see if errors were made in their treatment.
Some doctors are reluctant to give their patients copies of records. As a malpractice lawyer, I’ve heard a lot of excuses. Lamest excuse is “The law says I can’t give them to you…only to another doctor.” THIS IS WRONG.
Florida law says copies of a patient’s medical records SHALL be provided to the patient within 10 business days of the request. That’s Florida Statute Section 766.204 (1).
What if the doctor refuses? I tell my clients to call the doctor’s office, request the records, and if denied, ask them to put that denial in writing so you can present it to the Florida Board of Medicine when you ask for their help in getting the records. That usually works.
Hospital records are usually provided on a disk and can be thousands of pages
Ask to speak with the records department. When you request records from a hospital, be sure to ask for ALL records, not just a digest of the records. I’ve had clients come in with 20 or 30 pages of hospital records, and when we request the complete records, it is several thousand pages. Ask for a complete record.
Radiology imaging studies medical records
Radiology imaging studies usually have to be requested separately from the radiology department of the hospital, and they, too, will come on disks. To look at those imaging studies, you might need a special program on your computer. There are some programs available for free download, including DiCom Direct and Onis Free.
They’re all your records. You’re entitled to them.