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November 1982

Transferring Medical Records

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(12):2231. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340250197036

To the Editor.  —I am presenting my ideas on physician-physician and physician-patient interchange, concerning the transfer of records. Admittedly, these are personal opinions, but they do reflect those of many of my colleagues with whom I have discussed the issue.All physicians in clinical medicine at one time or another will either request or be asked for patient records. It seems to me, there are appropriate and courteous guidelines, within the law, that should be followed. Certainly no physician, legally or ethically, can or would deny a patient the right to optimal care by denial of records to another physician.I submit that there is a way to accomplish this through a courteous and professional approach on the part of the requesting physician. I take a negative view of the procedure whereby an authorization is signed by the patient under a physician's letterhead, witnessed by an office staff member, mailed

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