Patient Vision Records Maintained by
Ohio Therapeutic Certified Optometrists
policy adopted by the Ohio State Board of Optometry regarding
patient vision records maintained by therapeutic certified
optometrists should not be considered as a final opinion,
but rather as a general overview. Your therapeutic records
policy for patients should be developed in conjunction with
your attorney and/or professional liability insurer.
release of confidential records regarding a patient's treatment
and/or physical condition is a matter within the control of
the patient. The privilege is personal to the patient, and
if he/she or a legal guardian elects to waive the privilege
for an insurance provider, other optometrist, or for some
other reason, the information must be provided upon request.
Prior to the release of any medical/vision information to
a third party, the therapeutic certified optometrist should
require written authorization from the patient. That authorization
should be examined to assure that the signature is authentic
and is by a person of the age of majority, or by his/her guardian,
or other personal representative.
The authorization should cover the release of documents requested
especially if those confidential records relate to specific
diseases, conditions, or health problems.
TO OPTOMETRIC RECORDS
records developed by the therapeutic certified optometrist
are primarily for the optometrists' own use and constitute
his/her personal property. However, on written authorization
of the patient, a therapeutic certified optometrist should
provide a copy of the record to the patient, a physician,
another optometrist, an attorney, or other person designated
by the patient.
Routine insurance reimbursement forms can be prepared without
charge, but a reasonable charge for patient records or more
complex, complicated reports may be assessed.
OF RECORDS BY
THERAPEUTIC CERTIFIED OPTOMETRISTS
retirement or termination of practice, patient records may
be transferred to another therapeutic certified optometrist
for custody. Patients should be notified of the transfer of
records and also informed that the records can be forwarded
to an optometrist of their choice. A reasonable charge may
be made for copying lengthy records.
If a therapeutic certified optometrist is retiring or terminating
a practice and elects to retain his/her patient records, the
optometrist shall notify current patients of the need
to find another optometrist. Then with proper patient authorization,
the vision records should be released to the designated optometrist.
If the patient does not request that the records be transferred
to another optometrist, the records shall be retained for
at least seven years by the optometrist or an authorized custodian.
OF THERAPEUTIC CERTIFIED OPTOMETRISTS WHO
TERMINATE PRACTICE AT A LEASED LOCATION
therapeutic certified optometrist who is departing from a
practice at a leased location may allow copies of his/her
patient lens prescriptions to remain at the office he/she
is leasing. This will benefit the doctor's former patients
who wish to return to the same location for their future eyewear.
The departing therapeutic certified optometrist shall not
release full patient records to any non-licensed individual,
unless the patient provides written authorization to the optometrist.
Ohio statutes have recognized a right of access to medical
records by individuals who do not have prior approval by the
person who is the subject of those records. Those statutes
which give outside access are narrowly drawn and relate to
emergency medical personnel's access, AIDS, spouse, sexual
partner's access to test results, etc. Unless a life threatening
situation exists, keep in mind that the more damaging the
release of information would be to the patient, the greater
is the need for confidentiality.
Therapeutic certified optometrists also have the responsibility
to communicate the confidentiality requirements to all employees
who have access to the doctor's records.
Board Meeting of June 14, 1992