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are you permitted to read your medical chart at work?

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  • are you permitted to read your medical chart at work?

    Physicians ( and advanced practice clinicians):

    Are you permitted to access your medical files at work?

    My employer recently changed its policy. We can no longer read/access our medical files. Nor can we review the files of our children under the age of 13.

    Previously we could review our own files, and those of our children age 12 and under. We were never permitted to review the files of any other family member, nor of our children age 13 and over, and we were not permitted to 'act' in our files - ie, write notes, write prescriptions, etc.

    What is the policy at your workplace? What do you think of this policy?

    I find it condescending, infantilizing, infuriating, emasculating, and insulting. But they didn't ask my opinion.

    Am I totally off base?

  • #2
    We are not allowed to read ours either. But now all patients have access to their notes with exception of those from mental health. So I can access them that way.


    • #3
      It is forbidden. And yes, it is ridiculous. They claim it is somehow part of HIPPA. I totally believe that, as HIPPA has been making it difficult to provide good care to patients since 1996. So I'm sure they worked in a clause to make it difficult to take good care of ourselves as well.


      • #4
        It is forbidden where I work also


        • #5
          Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.


          • #6
            Yep, forbidden. I can access my own chart through the patient portal, but not through the EMR. Yes, the patient portal has all the info in the EMR. Yes, this seems dumb.


            • #7
              Yes crazy.  Soon you will not be able to prescribe yourself meds for a UTI.


              • #8
                We could get fired for looking at our own chart.  I am told that it isn't a HIPAA violation, but is a violation of our privacy policy.  Part of the rationale is that when we use our work computers,  PACS, etc. we are supposed be doing that for work only.



                • #9
                  We can look at ours - this is usually how I get meds! You can look at kids but have to document in the chart.


                  • #10
                    This was a recent thing with my wife's employer too.  Completely retarded.  HIPAA literally mandates that a patient have access to his or her own files, and those of his or her minor children.  And then, are you not your own patient?  Do you not provide care for yourself or your own minor children?

                    This is just hospitals trying to cover their ****************** with a solution in need of a problem.


                    • #11
                      Can't you just go to medical records and get a copy of your medical records like any other patient?
                      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


                      • #12
                        My current hospital we are allowed, but previous hospitals it was not allowed.
                        Can’t you just go to medical records and get a copy of your medical records like any other patient?

                        Many hospitals charge a fee per page and it can take two weeks.  My previous hospital was this way when I had a family member that needed radiology records.  Personally the records I want to see are often labs so I want to see them in a timely manner.  I am not as interested in the physician note because I talk to them already.


                        • #13
                          There are reasons for restrictions on some of this.  Every state has some protection for adolescent confidentiality.  They have the legal right to obtain care for reproductive health issues without the knowledge or consent of a parent.  Things such as results of hcg or STD testing is not to be disclose to the parents without patient consent.

                          If you have access to your teenagers records then you can read what they told doctors and what tests they had performed or what meds were prescribed.  They are allowed to obtain contraception without parental knowledge/consent also.  Even if using your insurance.

                          Now your 3-year old is a different story or yourself is a different story...
                          An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family


                          • #14
                            There's a difference on accessing record via the patient portal or medical records vs staff facing record.   If your institution has Open Notes, it's even easier to access all notes.

                            Point is, there's a certain level of privacy that institutions employ to minimize risk exposure.  Unfortunately, we physicians have a propensity of orders things for ourselves, and oftentimes inappropriately.  As an internist and PCP to many fellow physicians, I've had to reign in more than a few in self prescribing their meds by calling them in.  I can only imagine what would be ordered if they had access to their own chart.

                            For kids >13, definitely there's a separation that absolutely needs to be had. Even moreso for the college kids under parents' insurance.  We've had to tread that line many times over the years much to irrate parents.


                            • #15
                              I have unrestricted access to my chart, and pretty much to my kids up to age 12 as long as I have documentation (including ordering). Go into your 12+ child's chart and that might be the last chart you ever look at. We can do adult family members with a signed release, but I've never brought that up to my spouse or other family who are in our system.