You might be surprised to learn that there are several scenarios where a healthcare center might need access to your medical records. Although it can feel intrusive, understanding situations where a healthcare center can look at your records without your permission can help you better protect yourself and your privacy.
Read on to learn about two times when a healthcare center may need access to your medical records.
A healthcare center might need access to your medical records during an emergency situation. If you are rushed into an ER or clinic and unable to provide any information about your condition, the medical professionals there may need access to your medical history to provide the best possible treatment.
The same applies if you're unconscious or unable to communicate with them due to physical or mental disabilities.
In this case, the healthcare center will most likely contact people listed as contacts when you signed up for the facility's services and request information from them.
For example, they may ask if you have any allergies or pre-existing conditions that they should know about before administering treatment. This is an important step that requires healthcare centers to provide emergency care to anyone who walks in, regardless of their ability to pay or status.
Another situation where a healthcare center may need access to your medical records is if you decide to transfer care from one healthcare provider or hospital system to another.
In this case, the new healthcare provider or facility needs to have all of the necessary information about previous treatments and medications for them to make accurate diagnoses and develop effective treatment plans going forward. This also helps make sure that you don't receive any treatments that could be potentially dangerous due to existing conditions or medications that haven't been disclosed yet.
The new healthcare provider will need to receive a copy of your records from the previous provider to better understand the treatments you have already received and plan for future treatments.
It's understandable why someone may not want their personal health information accessible beyond their own personal doctor. After all, it's natural for people to want their private matters kept just that — private.
That said, understanding why certain situations require healthcare centers to get additional access can help put things into better perspective and help you understand how important your contribution is to your right to proper treatment.
For more info, contact a local medical facility.