Should you read your own medical records?

Having a copy of your medical records can be useful and informative.  Every patient has a right to their own medical records, whether they are paper copy or electronic records.  This includes doctor’s notes, lab test results, x-ray results, and operative reports.

When patients have read their own records, 80% have found it useful to read the information.

You can request your records if you are the patient, or the parent or guardian of the patient.

How do you request your records?  Contact the provider’s office and request a copy of a release form.  The form usually asks for your name, date of birth, address, and information requested.  There is a chance you may be charged a fee for the records depending on the facility.  It usually takes 10-60 days to receive the information.

Once you get your records, be sure to keep them in a safe and confidential spot.  If you have appointments in the future, it may be helpful to as your doctor’s office if they need to see a copy of the records you have.

What if you find a mistake in your medical records?  If a mistake is found, you can contact your doctors office or hospital, and request that an addendum or change be made.

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