The Alteration, Falsification Or Deletion Of Medical Records To Cover Up Medical Malpractice
When your attorney files a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf, each side engages in the written discovery process. This means that the defendant doctor or hospital must produce all medical records relating to your care and treatment. Unfortunately, defendants sometimes fail to produce all of the relevant records. Even worse, in some cases, defendants destroy or alter medical records to cover up their medical negligence. An experienced attorney knows of techniques and procedural avenues to uncover these types of discovery abuses.
The following are just some of the methods for detecting alterations and falsifications in medical records:
- The patient or patient’s family should always obtain copies of their medical records directly from the healthcare provider as soon as possible. When the patient obtains the records directly, that minimizes the chances of incomplete or altered medical records being produced by defense lawyers or risk management personnel. If the healthcare provider is producing records in response to a discovery request from an attorney after litigation has started, the chances of incomplete or altered records greatly increase.
- Your attorney should obtain an audit trail for the medical records in discovery. However, you should insist on the audit trail being provided in its native, electronic format (as opposed to a pdf or printout). The audit trail should reflect all changes made to the medical records, including the date of each change, what was changed, and the name of the person making the change.
- Your attorney will look for chart entries and changes that were made a significant time after the medical treatment was provided. Such after-the-fact entries are often the product of “CYA” behavior.
- Chart entries that are out of sequence or chronological order may also indicate alterations that were made to the chart after the fact.
Contact an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney
Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Carroll Law Firm can help you with your medical malpractice claim. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.