Here are all the articles I've written about my medical records. Enjoy!

May 14th, 2013

Did the doctor tell you… ?

… that you’re entitled to every bit of information in your own medical records? Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), that’s one of your rights as a patient. Ask yourself: “Do I really know what’s in my medical records?”, and if you don’t, then make sure you get a copy of your chart!

It’s just fine to be picky with your doctors, and to demand clear information from them. First of all, this transparency from your doctor builds trust, and can help you both understand one another more clearly. It can be much more motivating to comply with your doctor’s orders once you know why they’re making them! Access to your records also allows you more opportunity to think critically about your needs, which in turn helps you ask better questions and ensures better care.  You can spot mistakes as they happen and get them immediately corrected (yes, doctors make chart note mistakes all the time).

Furthermore, if you decide you need a second opinion for anything, or if you see multiple specialists, needing a copy of your records can be a terribly inconvenient delay, so it’s ideal to have them around! In the worst scenarios, if you feel your doctor’s care for you just isn’t good enough, your records can be a useful tool for determining where the problem lies and whether you should look for a new doctor.

As the world of health insurance changes, it’s likely that your doctor will have less and less time to spend with you.  So make every moment count!   Before I leave every doctor’s office I get a copy of that day’s chart notes.  It’s my right — and yours — to have them.  Be bold and don’t let anyone deny you yours. It’s your …

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