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Original Records or Copies: What to Provide

By Richard J. Rymond to EMR/EHR


Original Records or Copies: What to Provide

Join us on Healthcare Matters for Part III of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know. In this installment, we ask attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA, to explain why healthcare providers should never release original records, even when requested to do so. Mr. Rymond is the Dental Liability Practice Co-Chair at Reminger, and an assistant professor at the Case School of Dental Medicine. He is a frequent speaker on risk management programs for physicians, dentists and allied health professionals.

To see the full episode from the beginning, click here. Or, use the links below to watch each portion separately.

  1. The Right Response to a Records Request
  2. How to Respond to a Records Request from a Third Party
  3. Original Records or Copies: What to Provide
  4. Should You Review Records before Providing Them?
  5. Consulting with Colleagues on a Records Request
  6. Records Requests from Patients Who Owe for Services
  7. Paper Records versus Electronic Health Records
  8. The Number One Takeaway for Physicians on Records Requests
  9. Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know


Mike Matray: Let’s say that the patient and his or her attorney request the original records. Should the physician receiving the request send those original records?

Richard Rymond: So we never recommend producing the original records. Once the original records are produced, of course the physician no longer has control over them. And somebody else may inadvertently make a change to them, write something in the margin, misplace them. For that reason, we always recommend producing a copy of the chart rather than an original. Sometimes the original chart contains information which is color-coded. A lot of physicians for example with missed or broken appointments will write that in in red if it’s a handwritten chart. And I think some of the computer systems, the electronic records, will do the same. In instances where there’s any color-coding to a chart, where colors have significance, we would recommend producing a color copy of the chart.