Sunday, February 14, 2010

Medical records

On Friday I picked up copies of my medical records from the first partial hospital program I attended in August of 2003 and the records from my first two inpatient stays. Cost me $100 and all I've learned is that the hospital I got them from does some pretty shitty record keeping. The notes are extremely vague and often contain incorrect information, like referring to me as a 45 yr old (it's six & a half years later and I'm still not that old yet!) or saying that I was unemployed (I still had a full time job back then).

Okay, I did learn a few other things, including the fact that they outright lied and tricked me into going inpatient that first time. I had already known the involuntary admit form that got me admitted the second time was falsified, so that was no surprise there, but I was not prepared to learn that I had the option to go home the first time. The therapist running the groups told me my only options were to either go inpatient willingly or I'd be forced in, but the pdoc wrote in my chart that he couldn't admit me involuntarily because I denied any suicidal intent or plan. I'd never been inpatient before that so I was still new and naive as to just how manipulative the whole mental health system is. Didn't know the rules for involuntary admission, so I believed her when she said I didn't have a choice.

Guess it doesn't matter. I'm no longer naive and I know that I ultimately never really had the option to go home anyway. They felt I needed to be locked up and would have written whatever they wanted or needed to in my chart and on any other form to insure that I was. I denied being suicidal the second time too and on several other occasions, yet they still claimed I said I was and had me admitted against my will. I'm the mentally ill one. What recourse do I have if they lie and falsify documents? It's my word against theirs and because I'm the insane one, no one's going to believe me.

Since the records I was given lack any substance, the paranoid voice in my head keeps screaming that the hospital is withholding information. They deliberately didn't give me the whole chart. I was the only patient they had in their partial program when I started. That entire first week before I went inpatient was basically intensive one on one therapy, from 9 am until 3 pm, so I'm surprised at the lack of notation on how I was doing and what the two of us discussed. It's not like the woman had to chart on anyone else.

Can't wait to find out what'll be in the records I request from the next hospital.


Anonymous aprilarnp said...

How do you get copies of your medical records?

11:50 PM, April 10, 2010  
Blogger Sid said...

Either check the hospital's website for information about requesting them (the hospital I got my records from has an option to request them on their home page) or call and ask to speak with someone in the medical records department. You'll need to sign a release, show ID and pay a per page copying fee to get them, though if there is a law in your state, you might be able to get the fees waived if you cannot afford them (I know lllinois has one such law).

In general the federal HIPAA law dictates the rules regarding privacy and access to medical records, but individual states have additional laws pertaining to medical records. There also tend to be different rules regarding access to mental health records. A great place to get info is here:

They have the consumer rights for all the states in the right hand column.

11:13 AM, April 15, 2010  

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