The Guide to Getting & Using Your Health Records is for patients, parents, and caregivers who want to get their health records. A health record (also known as a medical record) is a written account of a person’s health history, including appointment notes, prescriptions, treatments, tests, and vaccines. It’s also for people who need the record of someone they represent or care for, like a child, elderly parent, or an adult with a disability.
You have a right to your health record
A federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives you the right to see and get a copy of your health record. Most health insurance plans and health care providers — including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, and nursing homes — must follow this law.
Yet it can be a real challenge to get your health record if you’ve been cared for by multiple doctors in multiple places. Each one may have a different process for asking for and getting your record.
We’ll show you how to get your health record — and use it
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created this guide to help you through the process of getting your health record. We’ll show you how to make sure your records are accurate and complete — and how to use them to get the most out of your health care.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to:
Ask for the information you need — like a full or partial record, specific formats, and how many copies you need
Request a copy of your health record from your provider — including how to fill out a record release form
Find and fix mistakes in your health record — like what to look for and how to have a mistake fixed
Use, share, and manage your health information — including what to look for in a health app like OneRecord
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via the "help button" in the bottom right hand corner of the screen or email us at at firstname.lastname@example.org.