Requests for Medical Records

Confidentiality is a time honoured principle of medical ethics and is a principle that all doctors take very seriously.

 

  • Your records are confidential to you, even after your death, except for certain limited circumstances.
  • Your doctor will not breach that confidentiality without your permission, subject to rare exceptions.
  • Your doctor is obliged to keep your records stored safely and securely. Patient records in GBMC are stored in digital format on our patient management system. Any paper-based information we receive related to your records is scanned to your file and the original paper copy is securely shredded.
  • Your doctor must ensure that your records are accurate and up to date.

 

Should there be a request for a copy of your records, either from yourself or from a third party (such as your medical insurer) this policy details how we will deal with that request.

 

 

Personal requests....

As a general principle you are entitled to a copy of your records.

There are exceptions where the release would compromise your health or breach our duty of confidentiality to others.

As your GP we must first ascertain whether the request is from you, the patient, or from a third party.

In all such situations we require that any request for records be submitted to us in writing and this request will be held on the your file.

There are rare circumstances where we can release the records without your consent which include:

 

  • On foot of a Court order
  • Legislative exceptions such as notifiable diseases
  • Children First guidelines where children may be of risk of neglect or harm
  • Acting in the best interest of incapacitated patients
  • Where the public is at risk of serious harm to health or death

 

Your doctor will normally obtain your consent to share relevant medical records with other health professionals to ensure the safe delivery of care.

You are entitled to refuse to consent to the sharing of this information. This refusal and the basis for same will be recorded on your file.

 

Third party requests...

There are many occasions when other health professionals, family members, insurance companies or solicitors contact us to seek a copy of your records or reports.

In these cases, it is our policy to inform you of the request and to seek your consent.

If you refuse we will consider the reason for refusal and document the fact of refusal.

Family members sometimes require copies of records for various reasons.

This information will not be provided without your consent. For example, where adult children are involved in the care of their elderly patients, we will always seek consent from the parent before disclosing any information.

Insurance companies and solicitors often seek information or reports relating to claims made by patients on the basis that consent has been given.

In these cases and regardless of what consent is being claimed, it is our policy to redact (remove) any information that we consider irrelevant to the matter at hand from your records which we will then ask you to read and approve for release before we write any report or agree to any transfer of information.

However, we cannot redact information relevant to the matter at hand and can not provide a medical report should you decide to not provide consent in these cases.

Futher detail on matters of privacy and confidentiality can be found in our Confidentiality Statement (LINK)

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