Medical Record Review
Review of medical records is a key component to many death investigations. The medical history can aid in correlation of the findings at autopsy and can highlight the risk factors of disease processes found at autopsy. In some cases, review of medical records can help lead to a decision to not perform an autopsy such as in those individuals with serious medical issues like heart disease or cancer. Forensic pathologists have the medical knowledge to review medical records in an efficient manner. Medical record review also becomes important in cases involving living individuals for which the forensic pathologist is consulted such as in those requiring injury interpretation, determining patterns in injuries or in potential medical malpractice cases.
Forensic Medical Review for Families Who Have Recently Lost a Loved One
A forensic medical record review can benefit grieving families by providing answers to questions they may have regarding the death of their loved one. It may also aid in providing a deeper understanding of autopsy findings. A forensic medical record review is valuable when a death occurs soon after hospitalization or after receiving medical treatment. In these cases, families may find themselves wondering if the medical care their deceased loved one received was accurate, if crucial medical information was missed, or even if there was negligence or malpractice involved in the medical treatment of their loved one. Most importantly, a medical record review ensures families that the life and the death of their family member is being thoroughly investigated and the cause of death is accurately determined.
Professional forensic medical record reviews, when performed by a board-certified forensic pathologist such as Dr. Havlik, can be a valuable beginning when a family is contemplating a medical malpractice suit. The initial medical record review provides families and legal teams with unbiased professional opinions regarding the types of medical care the deceased individual received and if the medical care given was appropriate for the individual. Once a medical record review is complete, families can best determine whether or not they want to pursue legal action surrounding the circumstances of their loved one’s loss of life.
When Dr. Havlik performs a forensic medical review, he is careful to review accurately:
- Facility/hospital records when relevant.
- Documented communications between the family and the facility where the deceased individual received treatment
- Internal written and electronic communications between medical care providers and
- The medical records established before receipt of the most recent medical treatment.
This thorough approach to medical record review ensures the family receives complete information that is easy to understand and to determine if there was any sign of negligence, malpractice, medical mistakes, or if the cause of death may have been natural. In the event malpractice or neglect is determined in the medical record review, Dr. Havlik is available to provide professional expert witness testimony.
Medical Record Review for Injury Interpretation and Medical Malpractice
Medical Record Review for living individuals is valuable in many circumstances. A patient’s medical records can contain extensive information regarding diagnosis, medical history, social history, medications, laboratory evaluations, and testing, and more. The review and interpretation of this medical record information is necessary for insurance claims, litigation, determining injury patterns, interpretation of physical injuries, and injuries that may have occurred through receipt of medical care. A quality medical review will ensure medical records are complete and all required information is accessible. Identification of missing records, medical case summaries, and medical chronology is also critical in a comprehensive medical record evaluation. When you have easy access to information regarding your medical records, this allows you and your legal professional to save considerable amounts of time and effort in an area that only an experienced board-certified forensic medical doctor can accurately evaluate. When partnering with Dr. Havlik, you can rest assured your medical record review will receive the highest level of professionalism and experience available in Grand Junction and throughout Western Colorado.