Outpatient Psychiatrists' Practices for Requesting Prior Treatment Records

    • Patricia R. Recupero, JD, MD, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI 02906.


    Patients' treatment records often contain information critical to risk assessment. We sought to determine whether psychiatrists treating outpatients agree about the standard of care (SOC) for requesting records from a patient's past clinicians. This web-based survey invited psychiatrists to review a hypothetical outpatient clinical vignette and to indicate whether they would request a release of information (ROI) from the patient for treatment records from past clinicians. Respondents also described the community SOC for similar scenarios and what they would do if a patient refused the ROI. Data were collected from June 15 through June 19, 2012. Most psychiatrists would try to obtain treatment records from any therapist, psychiatrist, or primary care physician seen by the patient within the past year. Some would require the patient's consent to ROI as a prerequisite to treatment. Few respondents felt that obtaining records from several years ago would be necessary in a typical, moderate-risk outpatient case. In an average outpatient scenario, the SOC would be to request treatment records from the past year. Psychiatrists rely heavily on clinical judgment when determining whether to obtain medical records from other providers.

    Dear LPN's RN's NP's and all other staff, please shere standart of care and "clinical policy" regarding Patients' treatment records.What is reality life?
    Thank you for your information.
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