Medical record sharing is an important part of any personal injury claim.
Multiple parties need access to a client’s information before a claim or lawsuit can be settled. So at least generally speaking, the faster and easier it is to gain access to these documents, the better.
But bad things can (and do) happen when a client’s health information isn’t distributed efficiently—or worse, if it winds up in the wrong hands.
Here’s everything you need to know about medical record sharing for personal injury claims.
Why Medical Record Sharing Matters
Medical record sharing matters because it’s how information gets circulated. When the process is completed slowly or carelessly, a patient and their claim can suffer greatly.
You might think the internet makes sharing health information easy. It can, but even the largest entities have trouble keeping patient data safe, accurate and organized.
A great example comes from the National Health Service (NHS), which is the public health network in the UK. Just consider that, when surveyed :
- 16 percent of patients said, after reviewing their files, data existed on their public record that they didn’t want others to have access to.
- 32 percent (roughly 1 out of every 3) of patients also said there was incorrect or misleading data on their health record.
These are two examples of how poor medical record sharing could expose sensitive or embarrassing information about a client. And sometimes, patients aren’t given an opportunity to review their information before other parties view it, like in the case of a personal injury claim.
Medical Records and Personal Injury Claims
A patient’s medical records can become a big deal in a personal injury claim.
Medical records can help make the case that the patient was injured or a victim of something like medical malpractice. Without this information, the client’s attorney might not be able to make a compelling enough argument to have a court rule in their favor.
In fact, if the case could be considered controversial, medical records matter even more. Insurance companies can gain access to your medical record without patient permission through a court order or subpoena.
Fortunately, even a court order can’t give them access to all your files—just the specific health information described in the court order. And in the case of a subpoena, the county clerk or attorney must give you notice before gaining access to your medical records.
But safe medical record sharing in this case still matters. Here’s why.
Why It Matters For Personal Injury Claims
In a personal injury claim, information is circulated between several different parties. When it isn’t done well, the client could lose their case.
In more extreme circumstances, mishandled information could expose sensitive client information that results in a separate legal issue.
Accurate medical sharing matters for personal injury claims, as attorneys and insurance companies could gain access to:
- Medical bills
- Hospital stay records
- Prescription information
- Doctor’s notes
If this information isn’t conclusive—or shared in a timely manner—the adjuster could ask for an independent medical exam (IME). This could draw a client’s lawsuit out even longer, or weaken your case.
On the other hand, if your health information is made accessible and put in an organized, safe place, your claim can be processed quicker.
Medical Records and Online File Sharing
Unfortunately, many attorneys do not even realize that their methods for online file sharing are putting their clients at risk.
And unless they’re using a safe and secure online portal to transfer medical information, they are taking a risk.
The standard for many lawyers is to share private files using online storage platforms like Dropbox, Google Docs and through unencrypted email servers.
The problem is, all of these platforms have had a number of security breaches over the years, which should leave you worried about confidentiality.
Many lawyers even admit their communication channels are not as secure as they should be. Others say that they waste too much time on administrative tasks like requesting information, making phone calls and sorting documents.
Secure Online File Sharing For Medical Providers
ShareScape offers a safe and secure cloud-based solution for medical providers and personal injury attorneys.
Instead of circulating information through multiple channels, ShareScape’s online portal puts patient medical records in one accessible, secure place so they can be reviewed by necessary parties.
Request a demo or learn more about how ShareScape can help your medical practice or law firm.