Medical records destroyed

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TKE, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. TKE

    TKE New Member

    I went to the Endo's office today to see if they have my records. I haven't been there in 5-6 years. Since the doc I saw moved away, possibly another state, all of his records were put in storage in a warehouse, many have already been destroyed/shredded. My name was found on a list for mine to be destroyed in 2006. They're checking to see if they might still have them. If not I'm hoping my family doc had been sent copies.

    I was shocked to find they did this with medical records. Receptionist told me once you stop seeing a doc or the doc moves away the records get put in storage & often, after so many years, are in fact destroyed.

    Even when I did ask for copies before I never got the docs actual notes. Just copies of tests, etc.

    Anyone else hae thi shappen to them too?

    Toy
  2. Aghllw

    Aghllw New Member

    That doesn't seem legal to me. Medical history is part of a person's LIFE. Not just a few years out of a person's life. And, they don't make it easy to obtain medical records...or shall I say "cheap". They charge an arm and a leg for a full set of records. I guess it depends on what that particular dr is treating you for on how long they keep them.


    I have always kept copies of the test results/films. Most new doctors only look at the diagnostics, vs. treatment it seems. No wonder it takes years for a diagnosis!! They have to keep starting over.

    I hope this turns out good for you Toy..sounds very frustrated.
    Lisa
  3. TerryS

    TerryS Member

    are only required "legally" to keep your records for a certain number of years. It's a problem to keep up with so many records of patients who are inactive, and they do end up in storage. When it comes time to destroy them, they are supposed to be shredded.

    It's a shame, I know...

    Important for us to ask for copies of all our labs and tests...diagnosis in writing, I guess.

    TerryS
  4. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    When I was a dental assistant, in the seventies through the eighties, we were required to keep files for seven years. It would be very difficult to 'store' all of them forever.

    What I have learned is to have copies made of anything medical that is important, to me, for safe keeping at home. This includes xrays, readings from those, etc. I had doctors 'misplace' to many of my important papers.

    If you haven't done this, you might want to do so, To. It gives me peace of mind....

    Kim
  5. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member

    Toy: Yes indeed, this is more prevalent than you would think.

    Two medical clinics here in Lake County CA merged. Then the "merged" clinic closed.

    Patient files, according to a very truthful friend who worked at that clinic at the time, were literally THROWN into either one of two buildings (called The Shed and The Barn...so that should tell you something of the condition of these buildings)...THROWN through the air, patient info pages flying, never to be put together again.

    My friend who worked at the clinic had to be physically held back from trying to stop the cretins who were destroying patient info.

    MY FILES, two "books" of files, were in that clinic.

    Result: I now do not have much ability at all to tell drs about my medical history because 1) paperwork is gone and 2) I simply cannot remember at what age I had measles, mumps, or had my tonsils taken out, etc.
    3)I don't know if or when lab work might have been done, or what results might have been for any xray procedures.
    4) If, prior to this nonsense happening, I hadn't started carrying a card in my purse with all allergies and sensitivities written on it, I'd be in big trouble now.

    This all boils down to mean I am not much help to my dr when he is trying to help me.

    That clinic served literal thousands of people each month. Their records, unless they got copies previous to the clinic closing, are also gone forever. No one, as nearly as I've been able to find out, was told their records were going to vanish.

    Lea.

  6. jole

    jole Member

    DO have to be kept by law for 7 years from the time the patient is last seen. They can then be destroyed without the patient's knowledge or permission. It is law. It use to be patient's files were quite small and took up very little space. Not the case in the past few years due to all the government papers that need to be signed, etc.

    Now most hospitals, etc. are going paperless and all information is on the computer only. Is that better? They will still be purged every 7-10 years, and if the system crashes there should be a backup, but....

    Please everyone, get copies of your info as soon as possible and keep your own files. I know it makes me wonder if the doc will write something differently knowing I am getting a copy soon, but too bad. And yes, it can be expensive, but cheaper a little at a time than trying to get a lot at once. Those storage sheds aren't cheap to hold all that infor either.

    Friends -
    Jole
  7. TKE

    TKE New Member

    ...the law would at least give the patient the option of obtaining a copy of their medical records before they were destroyed.

    I told SSA today about my records possibly being destroyed & she was shcoked. Said I probably didn't need them back that far anyway, but still....

    Toy
  8. TerryS

    TerryS Member

    I am a transcriptionist for a group of physicians. We keep a "hard copy" of the records, as well as everything I type goes into the computer (this would NOT include lab results, etc., just our typed notes).

    Many physicians' computers in our area were compromised a few years ago by a hacker and an awful lot of information was lost forever (on the computer, that is). So, NO, it is not safe to only have a copy on the computer. We should have had a backup, but apparently SOME of the records were lost forever.

    TerryS
  9. Loveyame

    Loveyame New Member

    I have found that sometimes it is necessary to make an appointment with the medical record dept and personally go through my chart.

    This way I can see all the records.

    I compare them to the records I have on file and if I don't have something I have them make a copy right then.

    It pps some of them off but my comment is I have to be my own advocate.

    It is also a good idea to get a book that tells you what lab values mean on the lab results.

    You can usually get one at a college bookstore. You could ask your doctor to order you one. My doctor is the one who told me about it.

    Thank you for the post because it made me remember to call doc and get the last couple months of notes.

    love ya me
  10. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    I know of a woman who worked at a records center. The organization decided they needed more space so they opted to destroy baseline mammograms that hadn't been consulted in several years.

    Can you imagine! I couldn't believe she wasn't screaming mad.

    The patients were never consulted before destruction.
  11. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    This happened to me. It was a urologist I saw years ago. I was told that when he left the office, he took his patient files with him. The office said they didn't know where he went (?) At lease I didn't have many records with him, but I thought it was strange that he would take the records since he is no longer in this area and that the office didn't know where he was.

    Ellen