Why it’s important to store medical records
From a personal injury attorney perspective
There are many different items that count as medical records. Every case is different. In any circumstance, the top five records we recommend holding on to are:
– Medical Reports
– Hospital Records
– Diagnostic Tests – including any films, such as x-rays and MRIs
– Billing/Payment Records
– Prescription/Medication Records
Here are 5 tips on storing these properly
- Designate a place for all medical records
Keeping any and every medical record can be an overwhelming experience, although it can be proven helpful in the case of a legal claim. Establishing a folder, or file location physically proves to be beneficial when pulling records. Doing this digitally with a file location reduces the time needed to search for a record with unknown whereabouts.
- Make digital copies
Digital files can assist in searching for medical records in a timely manner. When saving these documents digitally, name them in a descriptive way that allows for clarity when searching through multiple files. Two simple things to include can be names of the office it came from, and the date received.
- Back up your records
Creating backups of important medical records can prove to be important in worst-case situations. Backing up files to external hard drives, cloud storage, or any other secure storage ensures protection of critical documents.
- Maintain a record log
This record log should include where and how you store your medical documentation. It can also contain any needed login credentials, such as usernames and passwords needed to access the information.
- Consult legal professionals
Speaking with an attorney experienced in the field of personal injury will help you understand best practices in your case. Your lawyer can tell you how your old records could come into play in your current case.
Why should I keep my records?
The first reason is a practical one: if you have access to your old medical records, it’s faster and more efficient for your lawyer to obtain copies. Getting records from medical offices is often time-consuming and can be expensive. Second, your old records could help your current case by showing your physical condition before your accident. Getting records to your attorney could help your lawyer get more money for your case. Lastly, if you are able to give records from prior treatment providers to your current providers, it could help them develop a plan of care for you, so you heal and feel better quicker!