Court: Providers must release all of patient data to patients, families

Shared by Radhika Narayanan | 60 20 0 | about 3 years ago

In a consumer-friendly ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court found today that any patient data kept by a health care provider — regardless of purpose or location — is a medical record that must be released to patients and families.

In a 5-2 decision stemming from a settled wrongful-death lawsuit against a hospital, the justices said medical records are not limited to the data maintained in patient files in a medical records department.

Officials of Aultman Hospital in Canton had argued that the deceased patient’s heart-rhythm strips were not a medical record because they were risk-management records that had not been turned over to the records department.

The justices disagreed, overturning an appellate court ruling that limited medical records to those specifically placed in patients’ records.

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that state law does not specify where medical records must be kept and did not define the word “maintain” in finding that medical records consist of any data a health care provider decides to keep.

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Categories Governance & regulation



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