Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So we are now often being asked, “What is the gold standard for a medical record review?”, as we are reviewing quite a few medical records for our clients, while they have a loved one in intensive care. But we’re also reviewing medical records after intensive care, especially if families in intensive care or even ex-ICU patients, suspect medical negligence, or they simply want to know what has happened while they were in ICU.
So, first off, before I go into what is the gold standard, you need to get access to the medical records, which is no big deal really in this day and age. In any jurisdiction, you have a right to access medical records. It’s not a privilege. Keep that in mind.
I’m well aware that some ICUs or some hospitals try and make your life difficult, but as long as you are the power of attorney or you were a patient yourself, you will definitely have access to medical records. Again, this is your right, not a privilege.
You should also get access to medical records in this day and age electronically, most ICUs nowadays are entering vital signs, ventilation charts, pathology, all diagnostics online. So therefore, you should just get access to medical records online, even if an ICU is still having paper-based documentation. Then they need to scan it, scan the paper-based documentation, and still they can still email it to you or they can share it to you in a shared drive or they can put it on a CD room, but even that or in a USB stick, but even that is very old-fashioned, they should just scan it and email it to you, or if you access through a shared drive like Google Drive or Dropbox, or there are others as well.
So once you have access to the medical records and you share them with us, we are looking for completeness of the medical records. Why is that important? Well, I can’t tell you how many clients come to us, and they want a review of the medical records. And our first question is, well, are you sure that the medical records are complete? Well, and they say they wouldn’t know, and I don’t blame them because how would you know whether they are complete or not? So, we actually go through a checklist and we can, with very high confidence say whether medical records are complete as long as we know the dates, because as ICU professionals, we know what is in the medical records. So once we’ve established that the medical records are complete, then we can start a review. But we can’t really start the review without you giving us questions what you want to know, and we can help you with that depending on your situation. We can go into depth into your loved ones ICU stay of what’s happened, and then we can help you with formulating questions that you want to have answered in order to get to the bottom of things and find out, whether you want to know about medical negligence, whether you want to know about something else, whether you want to know if certain treatments been done or not. Have certain medications been given at a certain time or a date? Those are some of the questions that we are answering. For example, one situation that we are dealing with at the moment is, we are working with a client in ICU, and we are not quite clear on a day-by-day basis whether they are leaving the cuff up for the tracheostomy or not, and we are finding that out now, by looking at the medical records or by talking to the doctors or nurses and asking the right questions. But the devil is often in the detail when it comes to treatment in intensive care, and it’s much better to find it out in real time than afterwards. But that’s just illustrating to you what we can do with the medical record review.
So, I hope that helps.
Even better, if you do have a loved one in intensive care, go to intensivecarehotline.com and call us on one of the numbers on the top of our website or simply email us to [email protected]. Because it is so much better if we can help you in real time. So, you don’t need to do a medical record review afterwards when it’s potentially too late. So, it’s much better if you contact us now if you have a loved one in intensive care. We can look at the medical records now, in real time because that’s what we do. We look at medical records in real time in ICU to help our clients evaluate information, interpret information, almost give them a second opinion, and that’s what we are specialized on.
Also, have a look at our membership for families in intensive care at intensivecaresupport.org. There you have access to me and my team in a membership area and via email, and we answer all questions intensive care related 24 hours a day.
Also subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular updates for families in intensive care. Share the video with your friends and families. Click the like button, click the notification bell and comment below what questions and insights you have from this video or what you want to see next.
Thanks for watching.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com, and I will talk to you in a few days.