Your doctor went to school for years to learn how to diagnose and treat your health problems. That does not help you much if he or she makes a mistake while writing or typing notes in your medical records.
At Ratton Law Group PC in Michigan, our legal team recognizes how even a single word out of place could change the treatment you receive and cause you significant pain and suffering.
How serious is the risk?
According to Kaiser Health News, around one out of every 10 people who check their medical records online find issues that they ask health care providers to change. This statistic may not paint an accurate picture because not every provider offers online access to medical records, and not everyone who has access checks to see that everything is correct. And of course it cannot take into account all the people whose records are only available in paper form, and who may or may not review them regularly.
What kinds of errors are common?
When a patient has skin cancer, but the medical record says kidney cancer—a “simple” transcription error—the responses from providers are likely to be drastically different. Likewise, if a test result from one patient is mistakenly placed in the folder containing another patient’s record, the outcome for both patients could be devastating. Even an issue as simple as wrong contact information can lead to adverse health responses if the patient never receives a critical message from a provider.
What can you do about it?
You have the legal right to request and review your medical records, and if you find an error, you have the right to request that it be corrected. However, health care providers and facilities typically have a 60- to 90-day window in which to respond, and they may deny the request.
More information about medical mistakes is available on our webpage.