Why it's Important to Check Your Health Records
Guidance from the Office for Civil Rights on your right to access your health records
From the HHS Office for Civil Rights website:
Ask your doctor. You have the right to see and get copies of your health information - PDF. In most cases, you can get a copy the way you want it, such as by e-mail. While your doctor normally has up to 30 days to provide you a copy of your information, your doctor often can provide the information much sooner than that. If your doctor offers a web portal, you may be able to easily view and download your health information whenever you want. There are a few exceptions to getting your information, but you can’t be denied access for not paying your medical bill. Your doctor can, however, charge you a reasonable fee for a copy of your health information. The fee may not be a per page fee if your information is stored electronically.
Check to make sure your health information is correct and complete. If you think something is wrong or missing, you can ask your doctor to fix it. Your doctor might not agree, but you always have the right to have your disagreement added to your record.
Having access to your health information means better communication between you and your doctors, less paperwork and greater control over your health. You can request that your doctor share your information directly with others , like family members, a caregiver, a mobile application or “app,” or a researcher.
A link to the original information on the HHS OCR websiteHaving access to your health records exit disclaimer icon is a powerful tool in staying healthy. With access to your health information you can make better decisions with your doctor, better track your progress and do more to be healthy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, for short, gives you the important right to see and get copies of your health information.
An article from Kaiser Health News titled Why You Should Take A Peek At Your Doctor’s Notes On Your HealthMany patients go home with a summary of their office visit. That recap often includes a list of medications or reminders to schedule a follow-up. The full doctor’s note has many more details —all the stuff the physician types into the computer during and after your medical appointment. Your medical history. The complaint that brought you to the office. Sometimes, physicians write down exactly what patients say. Mixed in are billing codes and the doctor’s thoughts about what might be happening wi