How to Retrieve, Reproduce & Secure Medical Documents for Court

Whether for personal injury cases, worker’s compensation claims, or medical malpractice claims, providing medical documentation can be an effective way to communicate the scope and details of your, or your client’s, injuries. However, obtaining reproductions of documents such as x-rays and MRIs can be a challenge if you don’t know where to begin. Our team at Acro Photo Print Inc. is sharing the ultimate guide for retrieving, reproducing, and securing medical documents for litigation.

How to Retrieve Medical Records for Litigation?

When injuries occur, emotions run high and the complex process of receiving care can be overwhelming. So it is easy to see how the last thing on someone’s mind is keeping a clear record of every procedure. However, this can make filing a suit difficult.

If you need to retrieve medical documents, the first step is to fill out all applicable HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) forms and contact the organization that provided care and request copies of your records. You should also check with any other healthcare providers who were involved in your care, such as specialists or labs.

In New York State Section 18 of the Public Health Law, “qualified persons” can access records. This includes the patient, executors and administrators of estates in the case of a deceased patient, as well as the representing attorney, as long as the attorney has signed the specified power of attorney documents. Within ten days of the record request, the provider must provide the “qualified person” an opportunity to inspect the records.

Are Medical Document Reproductions Accurate?

When reproducing medical documents, accuracy and completeness are key. Make sure your records include details such as dates of treatments, tests, or procedures, as well as any changes or updates to diagnoses or medications. If anything is peculiar, or seems incongruous with what a client has claimed, it’s important to contact the source provider for clarification on any unclear entries.

Without specialized equipment and knowledge, it can be nearly impossible to quickly and effectively duplicate medical documentation at the quality needed for court. This is particularly true for film-based records like x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

When looking for a company to reproduce this sensitive material, you should consider the three E’s:

  1. Equipment: If the quality of a company’s equipment is subpar, the images will be too. FDA-approved digital scanners will reproduce diagnostic-quality copies. Once the material is scanned, medical-grade laser imagers, such as Konica dry laser imagers and film, should be utilized to produce hard copies of your documents.
  2. Experience: A company that has experience in delivering court-quality materials knows exactly what is needed and will keep an eye out for errors to help you avoid future problems. They might also provide recommendations on how to safely store digital scans so that you have quick access to materials while maintaining HIPAA compliance throughout a trial.
  3. Enforcement: Enforcing the highest safety and quality standards should be a company’s top priority. Asking if the company enforces training or certification for employees in HIPAA compliance and what safety procedures they have on site is a good indicator of whether your information will be safe there.

Why Is Securing Medical Documents Important?

Medical records contain highly sensitive information which means whether you are requesting digital or hard copies, security should be a top priority to protect your privacy. First and foremost, ensure that you or your client is only sharing this information to those who have a legitimate need to know. When sharing is absolutely necessary, follow all HIPAA protocols.

For digital copies, make sure all documents are password protected and kept in a secure, cloud-based system—utilizing encrypted file transfer services when necessary. For hard copies, store them in a safe and secure location. A qualified document duplication company will not only walk you through the reproduction process but also the safe storage process, so you have one less thing to worry about when heading to court.

If you are in the New York City area and need fast, accurate, and safe record reproductions, call us at (929) 244-4322 or reach out online. We offer 24/7 availability for your convenience.