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Offline Natalie.D

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Access to Medical Notes
« on: October 10, 2003, 02:05:46 PM »
Hi,

Has anyone ever requested access to their medical notes?  If so, did they make sense, did they help you understand anything more?  I was thinking about maybe getting access to my medical notes to see if I could gain a better understanding of exactly what has happened to my knees in the past and thus maybe give me a better understanding of what my current problems are.  For example, my very first accident, I dislocated my kneecap (this I'm sure about!), but I don't know whether I STRAINED or TORE my tendons and ligaments, all I was told was that they were 'damaged'.  I also don't know exactly what was done in my last TTT, I know the basics but the surgeon mentioned internal stitches on the medial side and I'm not sure what that was for.  I've really got a load of questions and can't seem to get any straightforward answers from my OS.  Do you think it would be worthwhile getting access to my notes or would this just confuse me further?  ???   Any ideas/advice/info would be GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks.

Natalie.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2003, 02:07:02 PM by nmcbride »
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions

Offline jeanie

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2003, 02:56:21 PM »
Hiya,

I reckon it would be well worth while getting hold of your medical notes........It means you have them to hand if you ever want to go and see another OS, or to check something out for yourself in more detail. It can take some time to get copies depending on where you are in the world . It took me several months from the NHS in the UK .... but turned out to be useful as I was referred for a second opinion.The new OS came up with different view from old OS ..... and was doubtful about my version of the earlier verdict until I showed him the notes.  Good Luck
Jeanie
Ski-ing 04/ 02. patella dislocation ruptured ACL MCL,  meniscus.10/02 MRI 11/02; ,menisectomy 2/03 MUA cortisone; haematoma/3/03MUA ;8/03 menisectomy,lysis adhesions 4/04 RSD/CRPS  2/05 Cortisone injection 11/05 lysis adhesions - infection 4/06 Botox injex hamstrings

Iona_-Uk

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2003, 11:42:21 PM »
Hi Natalie

I can't remember if you are in the UK or not but I recently had to get my orthopaedic notes from a previous hospital and this is the proceedure I had to go through:

I had to write to the legal service dept of the hospital who then sent me a form which asked why I wanted the notes, which notes I wanted and did I want any x-ray or scan reports with them.

I then had to wait receive and acknowldgement and a decision on whether I would b charged for this info, if you have been treated on thw NHS in the last 40 days, you will not have to pay.

The hospital has then up to 40 days to release the notes, the have to gain permission from the dr's who treated to release the notes and these dr's can refuse if they believe the info may be harmful to you.

My notes were gobbledygook but with care use of a medical dictionary I got the gist of it.

Iona

Offline Chris M.

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2003, 11:46:52 PM »
I have gotten copies of my med records without a problem (I'm in the USA). I just sent a letter to the doctor requesting a copy (I believe it was like $20 or so for the copy charge) and I was able to pick them up a couple of days later.
ACL Reconstructive using hammy 11/18/03.
Currently 12 weeks post OP, PT going well except a touch of tendonitis

Offline Natalie.D

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2003, 02:49:08 AM »
Hi,

I'm in Scotland so I'm not sure if the rules are different up here as far as medical notes goes.  I called the hospital today and they told me that I would have to submit a formal application for my notes.  I have drafted up a letter to send to them.  I was treated on the NHS for my hardware removal which was only about 3-4 weeks ago so hopefully that means I won't have to pay anything.  I don't know how long I'll have to wait for everything, its all really a guessing game at the moment as no-one in the medical profession seems to like telling patients anything, even when it has to do with knees etc.  I could understand if I was a psychiatric patient and access to notes could be harmful but, so far, I'm still relatively sane.  Time will tell if I'm still sane by the time I get my hands on my notes!!

Natalie.
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions

Iona_-Uk

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2003, 11:56:04 AM »
Hi Natalie

The dr who wrote the notes can stop the notes being released for any reason, but it doesn't generally happen that often, only if what was in them could cause you serious physical or mental harm.

The proceedure is the same in Scotland as the rest of the UK, you have a right to see your notes and you don't have to give a reason. If you feel your notes are inaccurate or worng, you can ask for a sheet to be put in the notes to include your perspective.

The other things I would advise, to make sure you notes make a bit of sense is to go to your GP surgery and ask for the letters from the hospital as these aren't always kept with your notes and they can be a bit more understandable than dr's squiggles.

Iona

Offline Natalie.D

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2003, 03:13:02 PM »
Iona,

Thanks for that info, I'll go to my GP and ask for copies of any letters sent to them.  It's not that I want to complain about anything done to my knees surgically - far from it, my OS is a really good surgeon and I've been seeing him for 22 years, he's just not the best communicator in the world, I just really want to have a better understanding of what has been done and what's going on just now, (I'm starting to get serious pain in the medial side of my knee, getting worse by the day and making my exercises harder to do and I'd like to know what it is, think I'll have to make an appointment to see the OS anyway pretty soon).  I've gained a load of information from this board and I now want to see if I can tie up things with my notes against what I have learned here.

Natalie.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2003, 03:17:02 PM by nmcbride »
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions

Offline walsh7

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2003, 05:45:35 PM »
I have never had any problem getting medical notes from my docs here in the US.  I have found them very useful in clarifying what is going on.  Any terms that I've found confusing I have been able to go online and figure out what they mean.  It has greatly helped my to understand what the condition of my son's knee is.  It also has helped me strategize about future treatment in order to reduce further damage.  I firmly believe in getting any and all information regarding one's medical condition.  It can only help you make the best decisions concerning your care.

Iona_-Uk

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2003, 06:17:39 PM »
After I had my notes I certainly did understand more about what was wrong with me and the treatment that was used on me, but some of it I found quite disturbing, like I read I had a 9cm mass on one of my ovaries but they decide that they should leave it and not tell me. 3 years later I had surgery because of complications arising from that not being treated

Offline Natalie.D

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2003, 08:31:38 PM »
Hi

Sorry to hear about that Iona,  I hope you are all okay now (except obviously for the knee probs), I suppose there are certain things that they don't tell you and should.  As far as I can recall, my only medical problems have been with my knees, I've not been treated for anything other than knee problems, so hopefully there won't be any surprises for me.  I'm definately going to go ahead with this as the general feeling seems to be that obtaining your notes does make things a bit clearer and are very handy to have regarding any new appointments etc you might have to attend, or just for personal reference.   Thanks for all the info everyone.

Natalie.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2003, 08:32:36 PM by nmcbride »
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions

Offline Janet

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2003, 11:02:49 PM »
I've always requested copies of my notes. I have a thick folder full of them! They do tell an interesting story. If there is something in them that you don't understand, you can ask on this board or search on the Internet. One word of caution: Don't be surprised if there are small errors in the notes. They don't usually make any difference in the end. But if you see something that is a glaring error that you feel should be corrected, tell your doctor the next time you see him.

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Natalie.D

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2003, 03:34:41 PM »
Hi,

Just thought I'd let you know.  I called the hospital and health centre to request info on obtaining my notes.  The health centre said that I could make an appointment to see my GP and she would go through some of the notes and explain them.  Not sure if I can get a copy of these ones though, but seemingly they are really just an abbreviated version of what my hospital records will show.  I'm being sent out an application for the hospital records and if I want copies, they're only 10p per copy which is great, and since I've been treated at the hospital within the last 40 days (my screw removal), I won't have to pay any access charge.   Anyway, just thought I'd update you on what was happening with me.   ;D

Natalie.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2003, 03:38:23 PM by nmcbride »
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions

Iona_-Uk

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2003, 05:28:15 PM »
I am requesting my full hospital notes from all the hospitals I have been treated at.

Natalie- have you always been treated at ths same hospital? if you haven't, make sure to get any notes from other hospitals that might be relevant.

Offline Natalie.D

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Re: Access to Medical Notes
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2003, 06:46:21 PM »
Iona,

I'm quite lucky (or unlucky I suppose!), that I've been treated at the same hospital every time, except once when I was taken in by ambulance and had to go into a different hospital closer to where my accident took place, but all the other times it has been the same hospital and the same surgeon.

Natalie.
Dislocations since age 12
Trochlear Dysplasia
Maltracking
Hypermobile
LR/MR-failed
TTT, LR, MR L knee 95-Success
TTT, LR, MR R 02-Success
Screws out
Partial tear ACL
Severe end stage OA
4 Debridements
Partial Meniscectomy
Failed Microfracture
11mm Defect LFC
Bone Spurs, Kissing Lesions















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