Sunday, May 26, 2013

Medical Records May Disappear at Closing Hospitals

My thoughts on the story below:  Closing a hospital is a very serious matter, so serious that I think those involved in the medical industry need to more carefully consider its consequences, including myself.  Frankly, I don't think there should be a fee for obtaining records - the hospital closing is not the fault of the patient.  Not to mention, it may deter some people from making the purchase.  These records could provide life-saving information to doctors in future medical circumstances, and without them, it would be much more difficult to make correct decisions.  Even when hospitals don't close, I was recently told that many do not communicate records with each other.  Perhaps the hospital bureaucracy should be overhauled and all the records should be entered into a single system that would remain in the event of hospital closures.  The issue with this, however, is that it might be easier to steal patient information.  Would it be worth giving this method a try, or is it too difficult to implement?  Feel free to comment.

What happens to your medical records when a hospital shuts down?

 What happens to your medical records when a hospital shuts down?
They could be lost forever, unless you’re willing to pay for them.
We wanted to know just how important the records really are.
The question came up this week after former Hawaii Medical Center patients started receiving these letters in the mail.
Basically, anyone who’s ever been treated at HMC east or west has until September to decide if they want to pay to get a copy of their medical records, and doctors say it’s well worth it.
When Hawaii Medical Centers in Liliha and Ewa closed more than a year ago, that left the hospitals with tens of thousands of patients’ medical records.
HMC has sent out notices saying those records will be destroyed by September 24th, or former patients can order a copy for about $40.00.


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