How To Access Your Electronic Medical Records

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, you have the right to see your medical records.To access your electronic medical records, you need to create a request and submit it to your healthcare provider.You may want to go through your records to make sure you understand what’s in the records.

Step 1: Write your request in a letter.

When writing your request, you should use the standard letter format, with your personal information listed first, followed by the name of your healthcare provider or the health care facility that has your medical records.It’s a good idea to include a salutation such as “dear healthy living facility”.The purpose of the letter should be noted when opening it.The purpose of the letter is to request copies of my medical records.

Step 2: When you were treated by the healthcare provider, specify the dates.

Your healthcare provider will want specific dates where she treated you so she can find your medical records.You can say: “I was treated at your office or facility betweenspecify dates.”I would like to get copies of my health records at your facility.

Step 3: You need to know the type of information you need on your medical records.

In your request, be specific about the types of information you want to access in your medical records.Depending on your needs, your healthcare provider can give you specific medical records.A summary of doctor’s office visits is one of the things you can request in your medical records.

Step 4: How do you want to receive your medical records?

Most of the time, you will receive your EMR as paper copies.You should specify in your request if you would like to receive your EMR via a flash drive, web link, or CD-Rom.Your healthcare provider may not be able to accommodate how you receive your EMR and may only offer one option for receiving it.You can mail your records to yourself by enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Step 5: The thirty day response period is legal.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires your healthcare provider to give you access to your medical records within thirty days.If your healthcare provider fails to do this, they must give you an exact date where you will have access to your medical records in a formal letter.If you haven’t received your records after seven days, you should call your healthcare provider to see if there is anything you can do to speed up the process.You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights if your healthcare provider fails to provide your medical records.

Step 6: Your health provider’s office is where you should submit the request.

You should contact your health provider’s office or the health facility that houses your medical records once you have completed the letter.The letter should be submitted to the required person.

Step 7: You should pay a small fee for access to your records.

You can’t be charged a fee for locating your medical records.Your healthcare provider can charge a fee to cover the cost of giving you access to your medical records.If you don’t pay the fee to access your records, your healthcare provider can deny you a copy of your medical records.

Step 8: Clarify any medical terminology in your records with your doctor.

You won’t understand the medical terminology in your medical records.If you want to understand your records, you need to speak to your healthcare provider.If you want to speak with your healthcare provider in person, you can email or set up an appointment.

Step 9: Make sure your records are correct with your doctor.

Speak to your doctor if you notice any discrepancies or mistakes in your records and get them fixed as soon as possible.Your health staff will try to keep your medical records up to date.An incorrect note in your medical records may be the result of a mistake by your doctor.

Step 10: Your records can be used to understand your health.

Your records should be looked at to understand your health and treatment recommendations.Your medical records can be used to stay on top of your health numbers.You can keep a record of how your health numbers have changed over time.You can better understand your doctor’s health recommendations if you have access to your medical records.You will be able to analyze your doctor’s approach to your health with the plans in your EMR.