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Abstract

This article will review current law in Ohio regarding the protection of medical records maintained by Ohio health care facilities. The Ohio law of privileged communications between health care professionals and patients also will be traced to show how only communications between patients and their physicians, dentists, psychologists, and social workers are currently protected. Since similar public policy reasons may apply to the protection of communications between a wider range of health care professionals and their patients as those communications with physicians, dentists, psychologists, and social workers, this article will discuss why the public policy reasons supporting the initial adoption of the law of privileged communications are not adequately served by Ohio's limited law. This article will set forth a course of action to be utilized by health care facilities to protect their facility and patient records as fully as possible. This course of action, however, involves significant judicial involvement. If followed, it will be an expense for health care facilities and place additional burdens on the judicial system. Finally, this article will comment on how the burden for determining whether records should be released is unfairly placed upon the health care provider. Suggestions will be given for legislation to rectify the current problems with Ohio law and for actions which may be taken by those involved in litigation to reduce problems with obtaining these records.

Erratum

In Volume 5, No. 2 of the Journal of Law and Health, the biographies for the article entitled, The Discovery of Medical Records Maintained by Health Care Facilities: Inconsistent Law in Need of Legislative Correction, should read: * Susan 0. Scheutzow is a partner with the law firm of Ulmer & Berne, Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Scheutzow is on the Adjunct Faculty of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where she teaches Health Law. ** Anthea R. Daniels is an associate with the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold, Cleveland, Ohio, where she practices in the firm's health care department. The Journal of Law and Health regrets this error and apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused.

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