Can Patients Access The Records Of Doctors?

Posted on August 07, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group

Last week, we wrote about a ProPublica report on surgeon complication rates being released to the public. Patients should always make informed choices when selecting physicians, surgeons or other health care practitioners. Fortunately, there are a few ways to do this depending on location.

Many states, including Florida, have medical boards that issue state licenses for physicians. When physicians get into trouble for medication errors, misdiagnosis or other types of medical negligence, the state medical boards are responsible for handling disciplinary measures. State medical boards often have websites where patients can access the disciplinary histories of physicians.

The Florida Board of Medicine is responsible for licensing physicians throughout the state. On its website, patients can pull the records of doctors, review disciplinary histories, file complaints and pull up general information.

How Else Can Patients Make Informed Choices When Selecting Doctors?

Researching physicians can be an important first step in receiving adequate care, but the same rule applies to hospitals. Patients can access information from their state’s department of health services to review complaints made against hospitals.

More information on hospitals and physicians can be pulled from the National Committee For Quality Assurance (NCQA). The NCQA maintains report cards for some hospitals and doctors, allowing patients access to more specific information.

Reviewing disciplinary action against hospitals and physicians can serve a great purpose for making an informative choice when selecting health care options, but it should not be used as a guarantee of safety.

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Tags: PatientSafety


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