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Missing Medical Records

By brian barrick
November 12, 2013

Missing medical records can be a legal and clerical nightmare if you don’t know how to handle the situation. If you are an administrator or owner of an assisted living facility, it is vital for you to know what to do when records go missing and how to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Preventing Missing Medical Records

Prevention is always the best course of action. There are a few key ways you can avoid losing medical records at all. Many owners and administrators fail to ensure the simplest step is taken: keep files neat. Do not overcrowd file drawers or keep messy files. This is the fastest way to end up with lost or missing records.

Another way to prevent missing files in an assisted living facility is to properly train any staff who will be interacting with medical records. If staff members are poorly trained, they are more likely to improperly file records.

Make sure your staff files records regularly. Do not make a habit of letting files build up over time. Medical records are easily lost when they are in a stack waiting to be filed.

Locating Missing Medical Records

Sometimes medical records go missing even when preventative measures are taken. Follow these steps in order to locate the missing record:

  • Check neighboring records
  • Look underneath the drawer or shelf
  • Check under the resident’s first name
  • Ask other staff members
  • Review records to be filed

If you still cannot locate the medical record within 48 hours, it is considered to be lost. You should recreate as much of the file as possible from duplicate documents and other records.

Protecting your Assisted Living Facility

There are serious consequences when medical records go missing, so you must ensure that your facility is protected. Even if you are careful, the only way to guarantee your protection is by purchasing liability insurance. Taking this protective measure can help you avoid lawsuits and prevent you from losing business. Don’t wait until it’s too late, protect your business today!

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