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It's a good idea to keep copies of your medical records. You'll need them if you change doctors, move, get sick when you're away from home, or end up in an emergency room. If any of these things happen and you have your records, you may get treatment more quickly, and it will be safer.
Here are some steps to get your medical records:
Ask for your records, or wait until your next visit. Ask your doctor if he or she can help you make a personal health record. Your family doctor also may be able to help you find other places where you may have medical records, such as at a hospital.
You may need to sign one at every facility that you request records from. You also may be asked to pay for copies of your records and the time it takes to make copies. And you also may be charged for mailing fees.
The hospital or doctor's office might simply copy every single item in your file and charge you for all of it. A smaller group of records might be cheaper and also easier to organize. Ask how long it will take to receive your copies.
Once you receive your records, you may want to try different methods to organize them. Here are some ideas:
Your personal health record (PHR) should include:
Current health information includes:
Keep records of:
Keep records of major health problems in your family, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, or diabetes. To keep track of your family health history, use a form or go to the Surgeon General's family health portrait website at www.hhs.gov/familyhistory.
Always carry these with you:
Current as of:
March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
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