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Painter Law Firm's frequently asked question (FAQ) series Contact Now

Should I get a copy of my medical records before I leave a Texas hospital, if I think there was medical malpractice?

Painter Law Firm's frequently asked question (FAQ) series

If you have questions about the quality of care that was provided to you during hospitalization, I strongly recommend obtaining a copy of your medical records before leaving the Texas hospital. When you ask for the records, be sure to emphasize that you want all of them.

Many hospital records offices seem to think that patients are only interested in physician notes. Oftentimes, though, some of the most useful information may be contained elsewhere, in places like nursing notes, flow sheets, laboratory reports, and radiology reports. Thus, when requesting records, be clear that you want everything – and even name these types of record as examples.

Many clients have told me that hospitals have discouraged them from getting their medical records immediately because they aren’t in final form. It’s true that physicians and other healthcare providers often have around a month to complete and authenticate their medical records entries. Yet, when investigating a potential medical malpractice claim, it’s helpful to compare the real-time records with the final official set of medical records.

In some cases, we’ve actually reviewed multiple sets of records. There are transfer records that one facility sends to another hospital when the patient is being transferred. There are real-time medical records obtained from the hospital before discharge. Some patients get copies of the records weeks or months after discharge, but before hiring an attorney. And then, of course, there are the official records that an attorney orders on your behalf.

Experienced Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyers know everywhere to look to make sure they have all of the relevant records necessary to properly investigate and work up a case.

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.


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