Confidentiality, Privacy & Security

1.  Expunge a Medical Record

Posted 9 days ago

Hello all, my organization received a court order to expunge any reference to 302 commitment from an inpatient electronic record.   

We have never received a request like this before and are not sure how to handle since the 302 commitment is mentioned throughout various pieces of the electronic documentation which will remain in the medical record.

Have any of you encountered this before? If so can you please let me know how you handled?
Thank you,

Erin Jack
Corporate Compliance Officer

2.  RE: Expunge a Medical Record

Posted 8 days ago

I do not see how you can comply.  The patient's health record is 1) a communication tool; 2) a legal document; and 3) a business record.   As this was central to her care at your organization, it is not realistic to have it removed.   I would ask the court to consider an amendment to the patient's health record indicating that the court requested the record be expunged for the action and that this was not possible because of the above reason.  Depending on your EHR vendor, you may be able to sequester the encounters that are relevant.

Nancy Davis, MS, RHIA, CHPS
Director of Compliance & Safety
Door County Medical Center

3.  RE: Expunge a Medical Record

Posted 8 days ago
I agree with Nancy. I have been in this business for over 25 years and have never had a court request such a thing. You may have to redact that information for release of information requests, but there is no way you should or would remove it entirely. Your care was dependent on that information


Bonnie Ormond, RHIA
Director Health Information Management
Carteret Health Care
3500 Arendell Street, Morehead City, North Carolina 28557
Office: 252-808-6529  I  Cell: 252-269-4555  I

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 8:46 AM, Nancy Davis via American Health Information Management Association

4.  RE: Expunge a Medical Record

Posted 4 days ago
I have never had that occur and I agree that it would impossible to do.  I would check with legal counsel for the facility.  My best solution would be to scan and attach that court order to the record and release that with the records if requested.

Teresa Brown
Assistant HSC COO

5.  RE: Expunge a Medical Record

Posted 3 days ago
I agree with the others.
It sounds as if the court reconsidered it's original decision for commitment and is now trying to "make it up" to the patient by issuing this order.
I think the best things to do are obtaining legal advice and offering to consider the order a request for amendment and filing it as a part of the permanent medical record with an explanation of why the record cannot be changed.

Kathryn Boyes
Director of Medical Records