Question: My orthopedic doctor passed away suddenly about five years ago. I am in need of services by an orthopedic doctor but am wondering what happened to my records, whether the office staff passed them on to another doctor or destroyed them. I have checked the phone directory and there is no one occupying the office space of my former doctor. I would appreciate any help you can give me as to where I can check into this.
Medical files must
be kept for 7 years
Answer: Call the Hawaii Medical Association at 536-7702.
The HMA doesn't keep track of such matters or maintain a records file, but it could possibly assist you in a search, said Executive Director Stephanie Aveiro.
Hawaii law requires that medical records for adults be retained for at least seven years after the last entry. After seven years, they can be destroyed, although Hawaii requires that basic information be retained for 25 years after the last date of entry. Basic information includes a patient's name and birth date, a list of dated diagnoses and "intrusive treatments," and a record of all drugs prescribed or given.
For minors, medical records must be retained for seven years after the 18th birthday, while basic information must be kept for 25 years after the 18th birthday.
Since your doctor died, you should find out who is the custodian of his records, if there is one.
Aveiro said if you provide the name of your doctor, she might be able to help you track down the records by checking with other physicians or the hospital he worked out of.
Q: Some time ago, another publication ran an article about the Marines' first female three-star general. I believe the article also stated she was in command of the Marine forces in Hawaii. Is my memory correct? If so, what is her name and marital status?
A: Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter became the Marine Corps' first three-star female general in July 1996 and was the most senior female officer in the corps. However, she never served in Hawaii and retired in January 1999.
No information was available on her marital status since she is now a private citizen, according to a Marine Corps spokesman.
Among the high-ranking women officers in Hawaii: Maj. Gen. Nancy Adams, commander of the Tripler Army Medical Center; Col. Ann Testa, commander of the 15th Air Base Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, and Kathleen Donohoe, commander of Coast Guard Group Honolulu.
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