Medical Records

Our Medical Records staff applies the ethical standards of the American Health Information Management Association during the performance of its duties and strives to:

  • Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, supports objectivity and fosters trust in professional activities
  • Respect the dignity of each human being
  • Improve personal competence and quality of services
  • Represent truthfully and accurately professional credentials, education and experience
  • Refuse to participate in illegal or unethical acts and to conceal the illegal, incompetent or unethical acts of others
  • Protect the confidentiality of primary and secondary health records as mandated by law, professional standards and the employer’s policies.
  • Promote to others the tenets of confidentiality
  • Adhere to pertinent laws and regulations while advocating changes which serve the best interest of the public
  • Encourage appropriate use of health record information and advocates policies and systems that advance the management of health records and health information

What is a medical record?
The medical record is the property of the hospital. It is used to facilitate access and maintain the medical information as it relates to the management of patients, support services, federal, state and local regulations.

The medical record reflects the thorough, accurate and complete compilation of medical data as it relates to patient care and treatment provided under the direction of the medical staff at Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

A medical record serves to:

  • Provide a means of communication between the physician(s) and other professionals contributing to the patient’s care
  • Plan individual patient care
  • Furnish documentary evidence of the care and treatment provided during the patient’s illness for each hospital encounter
  • Assist in protecting the health related and legal interests of the patient, physician, and hospital
  • Provide clinical data for use in long range planning, research and education
  • Measure, assess and analyze the quality of care provided by the hospital and its medical staff
  • Justify financial expenses incurred by the hospital while providing care and treatment

Record retention:
To ensure patient information is available for continued care, peer review, quality improvement activities, committee review and reimbursement, Medical Record Services will maintain the hospital’s medical records against loss, defacement, tampering or use by unauthorized personnel in accordance with the state mandated 20 year retention regulation – MGR, chapter III, section 70c.

Primary and secondary medical records for five current years are maintained in the Medical Record Services permanent file section.

  • All primary and secondary patient records greater than 5 years are held in the locked basement storage area
  • Destruction of primary and secondary medical records occurs once the state mandated retention schedule of 20 years has been achieved
  • Newborn and pediatric medical records retention period is the age of majority plus 20 years

Medical Records and Privacy Security
According to HIPPA and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter III, a patient has the right to have all medical record information kept confidential.

The medical record is the property of the hospital and shall be maintained to serve the patient, medical staff, other health care providers and the hospital in accordance with legal, accrediting and regulatory agencies.The information it contains is directly related to the patient and is to be held in the strictest confidence. No information shall be released without proper written authorization, except in circumstances permitted under the chapter.

The hospital respects and protects the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Employees understand that they are entrusted with confidential information about the hospital’s patients and must not discuss any information disclosed to them in the course of their duties.

Restricted access is to protect the patient’s rights to privacy and to maintain confidentiality. Secondary health data, such as billing records, indices, and reports must also be kept confidential and are protected under law.

Some sharing of health care data is mandatory and regulated by law.

Requesting your medical record

  • Print out and complete the release of information form
  • Mail the completed form to:
    Nantucket Cottage Hospital
    Attention: Medical Record Services
    57 Prospect Street
    Nantucket, MA 02554
  • You may also fax the form to (508) 825-8326, however, you must call the Medical Records office at (508) 825-8282 before sending a fax.

Requesting “highly sensitive” medical records

If you wish to request copies of the hospital’s records regarding your care and treatment for medical conditions of a highly sensitive nature (i.e. drug and/or alcohol abuse; HIV testing/treatment; venereal disease; mental illness; domestic violence, sexual assault and/or abuse), authorize the release of highly confidential information by completing the following steps:

  • Print out and complete the form for the release of highly sensitive and confidential information.
  • Circle the word ‘release’ in order for the hospital to be able to access your records to answer a request for record copies.
  • Print the patient’s name and date of birth on the first line of the form.
  • Print the patient’s address & telephone number with area code using lines 2 and 3. The request may not be processed if the telephone number is not included.
  • Complete the section “Covering the period(s) of treatment.” Circle the type of care you received, i.e. hospitalization/observation and record the date of admission if discharged in the spaces provided. Circle ER (Emergency Room) – SDC (Surgical Day Care) – MP (Minor Procedure) and write the date of service on the line provided.
  • If the type of information you are authorizing to be released. For outpatient laboratory and radiology test results, check off the type of information you are requesting to be released and include the date of the test on the line marked “Other (Specify).”
  • Write the Name and complete address of the person to receive the information.
  • If you intend to pick the information up at the hospital, you will need to bring a photo ID with you. Copies of the information will not be released without proper ID.
  • Record the reason that the information is to be released/purpose the information is to serve.
  • Print out and complete the release of information form.
  • Mail the completed form to:
    Nantucket Cottage Hospital
    Attention: Medical Record Services
    57 Prospect Street,
    Nantucket, MA 02554
  • You may also fax the form to (508) 825-8326, however, you must call the Medical Records office at (508) 825-8282 before sending a fax.

If you have any questions, contact Medical Records at (508) 825-8282

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