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Medical records can contain errors

Your medical record contains a lot of information about you, from your name and address in Louisiana to your medical history, your family history and your current conditions. At McGlynn, Glisson & Mouton, we know that errors in record-keeping can and do occur, and information in your medical record may not always be accurate. It may be a mistake in contact information that makes it difficult for the clinic to get in touch with you, or it may be an error related to medical information that can have a negative effect on your care.

Your medical record may contain information that does not pertain to the patient. This may happen when one or more other patients have a name similar to yours and information from another patient’s file is erroneously added yours. Conversely, keepers of medical records may mistakenly omit information about you, such as medications you take or your allergies. Medical records may also contain errors resulting from human mistakes, such as confusing an overactive thyroid gland for an underactive thyroid or mishearing “basal cell carcinoma” as “renal cell carcinoma,” an entirely different type of cancer. 

Errors such as these may cause harm to you by prompting your doctors to administer incorrect or unnecessary treatment. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 guarantees you the right to review your records and request corrections if necessary. However, HIPAA also allows the facility to reject such a request in case a patient requests the change for an inappropriate reason, such as to obscure certain medical facts. Nevertheless, even if you receive a rejection of your request to change the record, you have the right to contest the decision.

You can play a proactive role in keeping your medical records accurate, but in the event that you do come to harm as a result of an error in a medical record, you may find it helpful to consult an attorney. More information about medical malpractice is available on our website.

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