Griffith v. Aultman Hospital, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-1138
In a 5-2 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court has published an opinion that goes a long way in protecting a patient’s right to access a more complete copy of his or her medical records.
While patients often presume that their entire medical record and all documents pertaining to their medical care is provided to them when they ask for it, we often see medical providers do NOT provide a complete copy of the patient records they maintain.
Instead, hospitals and medical providers may unilaterally re-define the legal definition of a “medical record” and neglect providing records that do not meet their self-determined definition. For instance, medical providers may unilaterally decide that the location where they store their records determines whether the records are part of a patient’s “medical record.”
In Griffith v. Aultman Hospital, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-1138, the Ohio Supreme Court disagreed.
The Ohio Supreme Court stated, “All data that healthcare providers make a decision to keep that was generated in the process of a patient’s treatment and pertains to the patient’s medical history, diagnosis, prognosis, or medical condition is a medical record.
The Ohio Supreme Court also held that the state law definition of “medical record” is not limited to the data maintained by the provider’s medical records department, and the physical location of where the data is stored does not determine if the data qualifies as a medical record.”
Congratulations to Tzangas Plakas Mannos, Ltd., Lee E. Plakas, Esq., and Megan J. Frantz Oldham, Esq., for this patient rights victory!