Ohio Supreme Court Makes Ruling Defining Medical Records


CourtroomToday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that all data generated by treatment or medical history kept by healthcare providers, regardless of what is kept by the medicals records department, may be considered a medical record. This includes diagnosis, prognosis, and medical condition. The 5-2 decision made it so that medical records don’t have to be stored by the provider’s medical records department to be defined as a “medical record.”

The decision was authored by Justice Sharon L. Kennedy and reverses another decision made by the Fifth District Court of Appeals that made medical record information limited to what Canton’s Aultman Hospital kept in their medical records department.

The case stems from a situation in 2012 when a daughter was seeking information regarding her father’s death and was only provided the medical records kept in the department. The daughter claimed that the hospital was not producing the full and complete records.

Justice Kennedy stated that the law does not state a specific location where the records must be kept, thus stating any records pertaining to a patient’s condition, treatment, medical history, prognosis, or diagnosis qualify as medical records.

The definition of medical records and the ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court may have some impact on criminal defense cases as well. There are times when medical records may be necessary to defend a client, but prior to the change, may not have been available due to the records not being kept by the medical records department. With the change, it may make numerous and complete medical records available to access.

Our Columbus criminal defense lawyers at Koffel Brininger Nesbitt are dedicated to making sure our clients have the most effective resources. Call today if you need assistance with a criminal charge.