I believe the physician’s office actually owns the medical records even though the patients contribute to relaying their intimate health information to their healthcare providers for guidance relative to overall wellness and treatment when indicated.
My thoughts to this ethical dilemma would be to make sure you find trustworthiness within your provider so that you can openly discuss details about your health care information that you normally wouldn’t share with others nonchalantly. I feel that the patient does have a right to what they are willing to disclose to their provider as far as if they get a feeling like the providers aren’t listening to them, health care may be postponed or restricted altogether. Be it as it may, even though I think the physician’s office may be the sole proprietor of owning a patient’s electronic health record, if the trust, compassion, and empathy is there when developing a patient-provider relationship, then patients feel at ease and may not feel the need to request a copy of their personal records. Now I am not saying that just because this relationship may be there, that a patient can’t request a copy because they can sign a release of information or (ROI) authorization, as they most certainly can. I feel that if mutual respect is obtained then both parties can feel like they can work together as a team which is beneficial and the ultimate goal we want to see when caring for our patients.
I feel that my medical record should be owned by certain medical facilities I deem necessary or appropriate in which will benefit me in maintaining my overall health and wellness in the long run. Now, I believe that our healthcare provider may have expertise in certain areas or conditions we may have or acquire, therefore the need to intervene with other specialists either internally or externally can be beneficial. Most likely, your health care provider has the rights to provide care within one health system and your insurance company establishes boundaries in regard to copays, deductibles, etc. to work hand-in-hand with that provider giving discounts provided that you stay within their network.
Now, some times you may want a second opinion whether-it-be: internally (who your PCP would recommend) or externally (depending on what research you may come up with) that would be the most beneficial to your health, even if you ultimately decide to go with the internal PCP suggestion. For example, “I have my health care located within the Marshfield Clinic Health System or MCHS because it is more conducive for me as an employee of the clinic, which makes sense. However, when I had to have radiofrequency ablation on horrific painful varicose veins and a stent placed in my iliac vein to restore blood flow to that leg, I decided to go through Surgical Associates with Aspirus (an external provider) as I felt it would be more beneficial for me. I, of course, weighed my options and have done thorough research between an internal provider and an external provider; even though it may have costed a bit more as an out-of-network provider, I was beyond happy with the results and my recovery time was minimal. If I would have to do it again, I certainly would.
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