Do EMR records belongs to a clinic or a physician?

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2011

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Do EMR records belongs to a clinic or a physician?

I am an office manager of small private medical office with 2 providers who also own that clinic. Can 1 of the providers migrate a data of her patient records without letting the other physician know? Is this legal?

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Washington


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Electronic medical records taken by someone who does not have legal custody could be extremely wrong, illegal and possibly violate applicable state HIPAA laws. At the end of the day, it is not a simple answer to determine if the electronic medical records belong to the clinic or an individual physician but generally speaking if the physician is using the data for medical purposes as she is treating the patient then I see no issue. This may be different if she is attempting to use the information to send patients information on the creation of her own practice for example.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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