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Getting copy of MRI and medical records

Posts: 232
Joined: May 2011

How does one get a copy of a patient's MRI? I see that Cindysuetoyou got a copy of her son's. Also, a copy of the radiologist report?

For all the MRIs our son has had, we have never gotten a copy that we could take home with us. Or the actual written radiologist report. Being the parent of an adult patient, we really have no legal rights to his records and our son is not interested and doesn't ask hard questions..or any questions... at our clinic appointments.

Would appreciate any tips.

websterbr's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Oct 2011


It is very difficult if the patient is an adult and is not requesting the information. Some doctors will willingly print out the reports and hand them to you. In the hospital that I work at the patient has to go through Health Records and sign for the reports so in this case you would not be able to get them yourself. Also, I am not sure if it is the same outside of our health sciences, but they will burn your MRI images onto a CD for you but they want to know which doctor you are taking it to. They won't do it just for your records.

Perhaps ask for a copy of a report at the appointment in front of your son? He will be there so that is technically consent. It is difficult not knowing and not being able to help.

cindysuetoyou's picture
Posts: 514
Joined: Dec 2009

I just asked for them to print Davids' records and they gave copies of everything to me. They were supposed to charge for any paper copies over 500 pages or something...like some crazy price...I'm thinking 5 cents a page? We are talking thousands of pages. I was shocked when I went to pick them up. I never saw a bill. Maybe they billed our insurance...that's a joke because our insurance won't pay one more penny than they have to. Anyway, I got them all and I read them all. I learned a lot and I highlighted a lot of stuff too. I had to laugh because some of the doctors' notes said things like "Spent extra time answering all mom's questions and addressing concerns that family members had with treatment, etc. I think they used the word "copious" when they described time frames haha! I put all the papers in three ring binders and hauled them to NIH every time we went. A real pain because they weighed about 20 lobs. I took them as a-carry on a few times...that was dumb.

I also got copies of all the MRIs when we were just having them done every three months. Lately we have had so many MRIs that I gave up. I could get them if I needed to. I just called the Medical Records Dept. and gave them NIH's address and asked to send the MRIs on CDs to NIH because NIH really wanted to see them. They did..and then NIH mailed them back to me when they were done downloading them to their system. That's one thing that our hospital has been really good about doing for us. I am grateful because all those little details stress me out when I run into dumb roadblocks. Don't even get me started on pharmacies and what they have put me through. I can feel my blood pressure go up just thinking about it! I finally gave up and I'm getting all of David's prescriptions through OHSU even though it means a two hour drive round trip and a long hike up from the parking lot. It's worth it to skip the hassle at the pharmacy desk.

Good luck getting your son's records. I wonder if you would have some success doing what websterbr suggested...asking for copies at the time of each visit, with your son right there with you. Maybe he could ask for you?

Love and blessings,

alutiiqmom's picture
Posts: 256
Joined: Jun 2011


Our daughter turned 18 in August so she is an adult, and they make her sign everything and she has to give her permission for us to see something. She was just a senior in high school when she got sick, she did not get to go off to college. Anyway, we got a power of attorney and another form called HIPPA (Authorization for Release of __name__ Protected Health Information (Under 45 CFR Chapter 164). I believe you can download the power of attorney form and maybe you can download the HIPPA one too, but I am not sure about that one. It is sad that we need these but they are good to have in case we need them. I wish you the best. I hope your son is doing better. God Bless you and yours.


Posts: 232
Joined: May 2011

thanks everyone for the info about how we can get access to our adult son's medical records. For some reason, I have been shy about asking for them, even though I want to see them. Your advice gives me courage to ask.

Also, Learned something re: HIPPA after talking with the Hospice chaplain last Thursday (after I has posted this question).

She said we can request, with David's permission, to have our names put on his HIPPA document. That way, the docs can talk to us without David in the room.

Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2011

Yes, I agree that is a very good idea to have the patient's HIPPA form include the names of loved ones (ie parent/spouse/sibling) so that desired family members can not only communicate with the physicians but can also fight with insurance companies on behalf of their loved one. I learned how invaluable this was when my son was overseas with his job and his insurance was initially denying coverage for a PET scan he had shortly before he left for overseas. Had his HIPPA forms with his insurance not listed me,it would have been so much more difficult to resolve. And,all we ferocious mothers know how relentless we can be in protecting our cubs!
SO,I made sure the PET was covered and my boy was spared the stress of having to deal with it.

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