How Long Will Your Medical Records Remain On File?

A reputable medical facility will keep each patient’s records on file. Ideally, each stored item remains a piece of private information, as long as it stays on file. If that is the case, then why should anyone that has been injured in an accident set aside space for his or her own copies of the collected medical records?

The value of medical records

Add value to a charge of liability against a negligent driver. Records from a hospital show the nature and extent of a given victim’s injuries. Medical records help with documenting the billing expenses, following the collision.

No physician holds a patient’s records forever. Those doctors in British Columbia that follow the recommendations from the Province’s College of Physicians and Surgeons keep any one patient’s records for 16 years, following the patient’s last visit. The same organization suggests the holding of a child’s medical records for 16 years, after the young patient has reached the age of 19 years. In Canada, an injured patient has the right to file a claim for malpractice for a period of 15 years, starting with the day when the malpractice incident first occurred.

In British Columbia, an accident victim can increase the value of his or her medical records by adhering to the following procedure:

Notify ICBC within 2 days of a given accident’s occurrence. You can compose and send ICBC a written statement, with details about the recent collision. Submit that statement to ICBC’s designated authorities within 30 days of the accident. Apply for part 7 before the 90-day deadline has passed.

Any patient can request a copy of a record from his or her file, as maintained by a physician. Still, it takes time to complete the process that ensures the patient’s access to the requested record. That time span gets shortened, if the patient can keep documents like hospital records on hand for up to 2 years.

On the other hand, not all records take the form of a paper document. Some, like X-rays let the body’s message get recorded on film. For that reason, it helps to keep the contact number of the location in which the records of you and your family have been stored. After all, you never know when you or a Personal Injury Lawyer in New Westminster might need to use it.

Do not expect to just walk in and grab whatever document or film you might need. Those in charge of your records pride themselves on keeping them away from any prying eyes. In other words, you ought to be prepared to wait a bit, once you have made a formal request for some of the information that your doctor and other medical professionals have so carefully recorded.