After learning that your loved one got neglected or abused in a nursing home, you need to take action. One thing to do is to get your loved one’s medical records from the home. Having the records will help you determine the abuse reported. You’ll also learn if they included everything about the incident. You can find out if they are trying to hide parts of what happened to help cover up any mistakes they made.
Obtaining Medical Records
To get medical records from the nursing home, take certain steps to get the information you need. This can be hard to do because they will have policies about keeping privacy for their residents. The residents can release their records to any one they like, but if you are not one of them, you can’t get the records. The resident’s contract with the home should say who can obtain the records. You should talk to your loved one about getting their records released to you. This will help in case you do end up needing access to them.
If you do wish to get a copy of your loved ones records, make the request in writing. Bring this request to the manager of the facility that your loved one is in. The home must then respond to your request in 30 days. If they need more time, they have to inform you of the delay. They also have to give reasons why, and tell you when they will have the records to you.
A resident has the right to records within 24-hours of the request. This is a federal law. The resident also has the right to refuse the release of their records to certain people outside of the home.
When requesting medical records from a home, don’t say why you are requesting them. They should not question why you want the records of your loved one. They should comply and give you what you ask for with no questions asked. If they do, they might be hiding something from you that you need to know about to keep your loved one safe.
You will also want to keep a copy of your record requests. This will give you proof that you made a request in the event that you don’t get what you ask for. If a conflict comes up with the home, you will have proof that you asked and they cant say that you didn’t.
When you send in a request, try to send it in a way that the home can confirm to you that they got the request. A good way to do this is by email. They can quickly respond to you that they got your request and you can see that it got delivered.
Preparing for the Case
If you end up needing records, you should make the request for them as soon as you think there is reason to have them. If you suspect that the home is doing something wrong, make a request for the records right away. This could save you time if you do need to file a lawsuit against the home at a later date.
If you can get your loved ones records, attach any of the paperwork proving this to the request. This way the home can’t question if you are allowed to get the records. This will keep from any delay of getting records. If they have to ask if you can have records released to you, it might make getting records to you slower.
You should always request a complete copy of the chart when you make a request for your loved ones records. This will assure that you are getting the most up to date records of your loved one’s health.
Obtaining medical records from a nursing home can be a frustrating process. Knowing how to properly do so will save you a lot of time and energy. Make sure you are authorized to get your loved one’s records. Having the records will make it easier for you if you need to file a lawsuit against the home that your loved one is in.