While we think it's a good idea to always have access to your medical records, we recognize that it's not something that most people think about until they are facing a diagnosis, relocating and needing a new doctor, or taking on a caregiving role for a loved one.
WIth very few exceptions, your doctors are required to provide you with copies of your records.
If you choose to tackle the project yourself (you don't have to!), here are some of our recommendations to help make the cumbersome process a little bit easier.
- Contact your provider(s) to understand their records retrieval process.
- Make your request in writing. Include all important personal information that will help them match your records to your request.
- Get and complete the medical records release form. Some doctors offer this on their website, while some may email, fax, or mail it to you. Some providers may require you to come in and get a copy of the form. Make sure you have your identification with you when you go!
- Ask only for what you need - the more you request, the longer it'll likely take to get the information to you.
- Explain why you're requesting them. If it's for a quickly upcoming appointment, they might be more likely to respond quickly.
- Plan for how you're going to store, organize, and share the records.
Once you've got them in hand, you'll want to get them into a format that you can organize and then easily share with doctors and other people who need access. We recommend a free personal health record app like CareSync as a good way to organize and store your information - it'll always be available on the web and your iOS and Android devices.
If you'd like to learn more about collecting your records from your various providers, we recommend checking out our newest eBook, which is all about your rights, who can request records, what to do if you find errors, and more. Go check it out here!
If you're not really feeling up to the task of collecting and organizing your medical information, our Health Assistants will happily do it for you. For only $99, we'll collect all of your medical records from all of your providers. The important information from each of your past medical visits, such as medications, diagnoses, and allergies are transcribed into the CareSync app. You get a single health record that is easily filtered and shared with the people who need access.
To sign up for CareSync Plus, click here, or the big green button below. It's insanely simple to get started (it'll take less time than one phone call to a cranky medical records receptionist!), and you'll absolutely love not having to do all that work yourself!