Often the College receives questions from veterinarians with common themes. In order to find a new way to share information, we have started to use a blog. If there are questions that you and your team are looking for answers on, or if you would like us to discuss a specific topic, please feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CVBC team often get calls from veterinarians concerned about their responsibility for protecting the privacy of a client when they receive a medical record request from another clinic. If your client hasn’t specified their plans to see another DVM, can you share the medical record with that DVM? Do you need to call the client to get permission to share with the other clinic? Great Questions!
The CVBC bylaws (Part 4, sections 248, 249) recognize that consent for release of records can be conveyed by an agent, and specifically uses another veterinarian as an example. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that another veterinary facility calling for a records transfer is doing so at the request of the owner. I will add the disclaimer that if you have reason to doubt, then confirm with your client. For example, if the client advised you that a specific clinic was going to request records, and then another clinic makes the request, or the owner or pet information doesn’t align with your records.
How can you help with the process? Consider building permission to share medical records into your intake process noting that you will send a copy of records automatically to another clinic at the request of another veterinarian, or if you are a referral or emergency clinic, that you will automatically send medical records back to the regular veterinarian on record.