Case studies

Medical records

Medical report

Lost records

Case study: medical records

A medical centre closed with very little notice. A number of patients requested copies of their medical records so they could provide their new doctor with relevant information about their medical history.

Patients were unaware that, although they had a right to the files, medical records are typically owned by the medical practices and a reasonable administration fee could be charged to cover administration costs, in this case $20.

Those who paid the fee continued to have difficulty gaining access to the records. Many were left waiting for their records, and a number of patients needed them urgently.

Concerned patients contact HaDSCO. The Assessment team were able to explain to complainants their rights and worked with the provider in order to establish the location of the records.

Although the patients were still required to pay the administration fee, the cause for the delay in distribution was identified. Once an explanation was provided, the complainants’ concerns were eased. The provider also hired extra staff to assist with administration and the records were soon dispatched.

Case study: medical report

In late 2010, Mrs Smith visited a Podiatry Centre, she had a holiday coming up and wanted an assessment before leaving Australia.

Unfortunately, the Podiatrist failed to provide the assessment report to Mrs Smith, leaving her very concerned.

After being contacted by Mrs Smith, HaDSCO worked with all parties to resolve the complaint through the negotiated settlement process. This involved HaDSCO discussing the complaint with the Podiatrist. During discussions, the Podiatrist expressed regret that a high workload resulted in the failure and offered Mrs Smith a free consultation. Mrs Smith no longer required the assessment and instead accepted a refund for the full $115 assessment fee.

Case study: lost records

In November 2010, Mr Jones’ GP retired and he provided hand written medical records to a new medical practitioner. When Mr Jones requested these notes back he was told they had been destroyed.

Mr Jones was very upset and wanted an explanation. When HaDSCO got in contact with the GP, it turned out the Practice Manager had not checked with the GP where the notes were held.

After the GP requested Mr Jones’ notes from the Practice Manager, Mr Jones’ records were found. The GP personally handed back the notes to Mr Jones and gave him an apology.

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