How to Make a Request for Your Medical Records To get your medical records, most clinics or facilities will want you to fill out a form. This request form is normally available in the office or can be sent through fax, postal service, or email. If the office does not have a form, you can submit your request in writing.
When you make this request, please include: your name, address, date of birth, and phone number.
You should get written confirmation that your record has been received. If you don't, call the clinic to find out what needs to be done. Often they will send another copy of the form or ask for additional information before releasing your record.
Your health history consists of your past medical experiences including surgeries, hospitalizations, tests, and problems that you have had. It is important that your health history be complete and accurate. Failure to provide accurate information may affect your treatment plan or insurance coverage.
Your health history may involve information about: illnesses or injuries you have had, medications you take, any changes or problems you have experienced with your body, etc. The health professional taking care of you should ask you about all of these things when you visit. He or she should also review your medical records from earlier visits if they have not already been done so.
It is helpful if you can bring in copies of your medical records from other doctors or facilities where you have been treated in the past.
Most hospitals and providers in each state follow a similar procedure when it comes to requesting documents. It usually starts with a written or verbal request. "Normally, one would simply phone the healthcare provider and get a copy of the record, and then pick it up after signing a release for the documents," Ennis said.
However, if you want complete copies of your medical records, a release is required before they will be sent over. The person who requested the records should sign both a release for their use and also a form authorizing release of the information.
The release needs to include your name as well as that of any other people mentioned in the records. It also must include permission for the hospital to share your information within its network and with other entities as specified on the release form.
Hospitals and doctors' offices may have different procedures regarding whether or not you have to pay to obtain your own records. Some will charge a fee while others may allow you to download them for free. Find out before you leave the facility what the policy is for releases and copying costs.
Medical records can be very useful to show treatment outcomes for patients. They can also help doctors identify patterns in patients' conditions that may lead to additional testing or treatments. Knowing this, it isn't surprising that medical professionals often request records about their patients.
How to Submit a Request You must submit a formal request to the Health Information Management Department to obtain a copy of your medical record (HIM). All requests for the release of information must be accompanied by a letter or authorization form signed by the patient or parent (if the patient is under the age of 18).
Who Can Release My Medical Records? Any licensed health care professional who has received training in medical record keeping can release your medical information. The only requirement is that they have your written permission to release your information. If you are no longer alive, someone close to you may make this request on your behalf.
What Type of Information is Included in a Medical Record? A medical record contains information about you and your health history. It includes details about your diagnosis and treatment, any surgical procedures you may have had, as well as information about any medications you may take. Your record may also include information about any other health concerns or problems you may have had, including genetic conditions and disabilities.
What if I Don't Want Someone Else To See My Medical Records? You have the right to ask that your medical record not be released or shared with others without your consent. Anyone requesting access to your record will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement before receiving any information.
How Long Will My Medical Records Stay Public? Once your medical record is released, it can be obtained by anyone who requests it. However, most records are destroyed after five years.
Obtaining copies of your medical and dental records is frequently as straightforward as calling your health care provider. Patients have the legal right to know any information recorded in their personal health records, and health care professionals are required to disclose copies of these data upon request.
Your dental record contains information about your teeth, gums, and jaw structure, as well as treatments you received from dentists. Your medical record includes information about any medications or diseases you may have, along with other details that may not be apparent on first glance.
Dental records are usually kept by health care providers in the office where they practice. These documents can help doctors identify problems with your mouth and teeth before they become serious enough to require treatment. They may also reveal if you're at risk for developing certain conditions or diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease.
In addition to your dentist, other people who might have access to your dental records include oral surgeons, physicians, and researchers. They need this information to ensure that you receive appropriate treatment and also to help them diagnose and treat patients like you who may not see a dentist regularly.
You should ask anyone who treats you during both of your visits what their policy is regarding release of information. If they refuse, look for another practitioner. You have a right to access your own health information.