Healthcare professionals perform a serious and necessary service for society. Their actions can literally determine whether an individual lives or not.
As a result, medical boards take complaints and their obligation to investigate seriously. One of the core aspects of building a firm doctor-patient rapport is maintaining strict confidentiality. Physicians have an ethical and legal responsibility to keep records private. However, does this apply to medical records during a medical board investigation?
Medical board analysts gather many kinds of evidence
When somebody lodges a complaint against a healthcare professional, the state medical board may investigate. During an investigation, the medical board generally sends an analyst to interview the party undergoing the investigation. This individual may gather many kinds of evidence, from testimony to records, including patient records. Others participating in the investigative process, including medical coordinators and the medical board members, may also review them. Doctors cannot refuse when ordered to hand over medical records.
Only pertinent records can undergo review
While the investigators have the right to look at documents pertaining to the case, they generally cannot demand to look at unrelated files. Doctors may be able to keep those private.
Medical boards bear the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the medical community, including investigating complaints like incompetency, fraud or a conviction. In the course of their duties, they may request medical records, and the physician must comply. They have the right, if they find a healthcare provider guilty, to impose penalties like license revocation or denial or license renewal. However, individuals may choose to appeal a guilty verdict, though this may open their records up to further perusal by others.