FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
YOUR PODIATRIST AND YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
1. Does my podiatrist have to create records of my patient care ? If so, when ?
Yes. Podiatrists are required to as soon as reasonably practicable after care has been rendered, create thorough and readable records pertaining for every medical case that they handle.
Thorough means that another podiatrist could follow the diagnostic and treatment recommendations, decision making and pathway or course of the case. This would include patient instructions, and reasons for the decisions that were made and procedures that were administered in the case.
This applies to every case, including those that involve just cursory examinations or repeat routine care.
2. Can I get a copy of my medical records from my podiatrist ?
Yes. A podiatrist is required by law to provide a patient with a copy of their medical records on request. A patient owns the information contained in their patient file and has a right to obtain a copy of their complete record on request.
This includes chart notes, radiographic and photographic images.
This includes a request to transfer the records to another practitioner.
3. Does my podiatrist have to give me the original medical records for my patient ?
Generally no. The patient is normally entitled to a copy of the medical records only.
An exception arises if the patient or a third party has through a court order or other legal authority, the power to compel production of the original records.
4. Is my podiatrist entitled to charge me a fee for giving me a copy of the records ?
Yes. The podiatrist is entitled to recover the reasonable costs of producing a copy of the records for the patient.
What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances of the case; the factors would include the number of pages to be copied, cost of reproducing radiographs or photographs, cost of staff time, etc.
The College will only investigate the amount charged where there is clear evidence of a fee that is so high as to be unconscionable.
5. Can my podiatrist withhold my medical records if I do not pay my bill ?
No. The legal obligation to provide copies of the records on request of the patient is not altered by the fact of an unpaid bill. A podiatrist may not withhold a patient’s records when the patient owes money for podiatry services. Fee disputes and other types of disagreements between the patient and practitioner are not grounds to withhold access to, or transfer of, patient records. Podiatrists have other legal avenues through which to deal with such matters.