'That is 100% false': Hahnemann disputes claims that some have trouble accessing medical records

A story you'll only hear on KYW Newsradio

Hadas Kuznits
August 22, 2019 - 5:23 pm
Hahnemann University Hospital

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There seems to be some confusion in regards to obtaining medical records from Hahnemann University Hospital, which will be closing for good on Sept. 6. 

Konrad, the son of a former Hahnemann University Hospital patient, told KYW Newsradio he had been trying to obtain his deceased father's medical records for a month. When he called earlier in the week, however, he was told the medical records department will be shutting down Friday, Aug. 23. 

The department not only handles information about patient health procedures, but also information such as birth and death records.

After hearing about Konrad's struggle with the department on KYW Newsradio, listener Steven Packer thought it would be a good idea to get a hold of his Hahnemann medical records before the hospital closes, and spoke to someone in the medical records department. 

"He said 'you have to send in a form but quite frankly, it's a waste of time because we're not processing any new requests for medical records, and we can't really tell you what to do because our last day here is Friday and we haven't been told what's going to happen with medical records requests,'" Packer said.

However, Ron Dreskin, interim systems CEO with Hahnemann University Hospital, disputed that.

"So, that is 100% false. Our medical records department is open and has been open and will continue to be open," Dreskin said. 

On behalf of a KYW Newsradio colleague who's had a procedure done at Hahnemann Hospital, KYW Newsradio called the hospital and asked for medical records. Just like what was told to Packer, the department said they are no longer processing new requests and that after Friday, forms would have to be downloaded from the website.

After some back and forth with the hospital's public relations department, KYW Newsradio was asked to call the medical records department again, and the department then said they would be answering phones after Friday and it is possible to get your medical records. 

However, the department said that due to the backlog, it could take up to a month to get them. 

Dreskin insisted they have a hospital closure plan in the works.

"Which is state and city mandated. The finalization of that plan has not been approved yet by the state. When it does, we will have a protocol that will be followed," he said. 

He also reassured patients that they are mandated to hold on to records up to seven years following a procedure and they have to make medical records available to patients.  

"I understand that it's supposed to be an orderly and organized closing, and this sounds like it's anything but orderly and organized to me," Packer said.