Ohio Supreme Court rules on patient data

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that all patient data kept by healthcare providers generated in the process of a patient's treatment and pertains to the patient's medical history, diagnosis, prognosis or medical condition is a medical record.

The case, Griffith v. Aultman Hospital, stemmed from a wrongful death suit filed against the hospital in Canton when a deceased patient's heart-rhythm strips were not included in a medical record and subsequently not given to the records department. The patient's daughter had requested her father's medical records because of her concerns about the circumstances surrounding his death, according to reports.

An appellate court ruled that medical records only include data purposefully placed in medical records, but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling in a 5 to 2 decision. According to the majority opinion, Ohio state law does not specify where medical records must be kept, and medical records include any data kept by a healthcare provider, reported The Columbus Dispatch.