August 9, 2013

Doctors That Will Not Give You Record Access

Even if physicians think we can be a pain in their backside, we as patients have to wonder what they are trying to conceal when they will not allow us access to medical information about us. Caveat – I have no problem when the patient has mental problems of not allowing them access to their medical records.

However, for the rest of us, come-on doctors, what are you hiding? Yes, many physicians treat us as mental patients in their minds and have entered information in the medical records about us that they would be in the courts for years trying to explain and defend as not being libelous or maliciously defamatory. What causes them to do this?

One answer is because they are human and the medical profession has conditioned them to feel that they are god-like. When we rock the pedestal on which they are perched, they become very upset and since the medical record they maintain about us is the one supposedly safe place, they make some unwarranted statements part of the medical record.

Notice, I have carefully avoided saying who owns the medical records. This had been for the courts to decide and in general, they had favored the doctor. Now under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), this may be changing. The patient will supposedly have access to the records. I say this cautiously, because several medical professional organizations are working to prevent this from happening. I have a feeling that this is headed for the courts for a final decision. Again I ask – doctor, what are you hiding?

I have been made aware of a work-a-round created in many electronic health record programs which will allow doctors to have their own confidential area. Some physicians are refusing to use this area while others look for it. More physicians are discovering that patients who are educated have a better outlook and desire to improve their health. This often causes a big reduction in medical costs and improved efficiency. The reason for this is that the patient is working for better prevention and when the doctor and patient work together, this often happens.

I would like to continue the doctor-patient discussion, but that will wait for another blog, as another area needs to be included here. This is the problem proactive to participatory patients are having accessing medical information that is obtained from remote patient monitoring. Presently, this is next to impossible for patients. Unless you have a doctor that is very forthcoming, the manufacturer of the device and many physicians will not allow patients to have access to this information. Even those doctors willing to share this information are often prevented from doing so by the device manufacturer. Many doctors that share the information do so at their own risk. So hopefully you as a patient will help guard this when it happens.

For more information from a different perspective, read this by Trisha Torrey. It explains what may happen to very proactive patients when they have doctors that don't like or appreciate patients wanting to learn and be proactive or have knowledge of their chronic condition. Hopefully, under the ACA these doctors will be put out of business permanently and their medical organization greatly weakened.

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