Posted by - Ryan Burns, Director of Key Holder Services
I read an article several weeks ago about an interesting situation involving personal health records and have been mulling it over in the back of my mind. The gist of the article is that tens of thousands of medical records that were once a part of the now bankrupt and closed Greater Detroit Hospital were BURNED on a farm in Salem Township. Yes… I’ll repeat that. Tens of thousands of medical records were burned on a farm!
I’ll admit, the first thought I had when I read this article was, “Sure am glad I have all my medical records on my VitalKey… in case someone burns my medical records on a farm!”
Besides that, I found myself thinking, “What happens to my medical records when my physician’s practice (or my hospital) closes?”
An article I read today discussed this situation to some degree in regards one county’s decision to use an outside company to destroy personal health records that meet a certain time criteria. It is all quite interesting.
I think that we all just sort of assume that we’ll always be able to access our medical records if we need them. Unfortunately we forget that hospitals and physician offices are businesses… and businesses can go out of, well, business. When that happens, how will you get these vital documents? Or, relating to today’s article, what happens when you need a record from 6 years ago but your county only holds onto records for 5 years?
These are serious questions that are rarely asked. The obvious solution is for you to request and maintain all your medical records. The only problem with that is the immense amount of time and energy that requires. I don’t know about you, but I have enough “to do” items on my list… adding “track down all medical records (what is my doctor’s fax number again?), file and secure medical records (which firesafe is best for me), and keep medical records up-to-date (I know I have that fax number around here somewhere)” sounds like far too much work for me. I think that is what makes VitalKey so great. We handle all the legwork for you. As a medical records management service, we request your records. We follow up with your physicians. We work with you to make sure your records stay up to date. We secure the information. Now that is an easy “to-do list.”
So, next time you drive by a farm and see a big cloud of smoke… just look down at your key chain, see the VitalKey, and know that you’re medical records are right there when you need them.