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Medical Recoard Madness

Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

I was going to post this as a response to Uncaring Doctors, but I realized this is something we should all look at.

I have been collecting my medical records as I am approaching Military retirement and I need to submit my medical record to the VA.
Everyone needs to make sure you have a full copy of your record for yourself and make copies of parts of it anytime you see a new doctor or specialist
So I went about collecting my medical record and came up with some things to think of

a) Be sure to ask for EVERYTHING then ask them where else you need to go. If you are polite you will find the nurse or receptionist is more willing to mention other places you might need to ask about.
B) Submit request to each location that has parts of your record... yes you will get duplicates of parts but it’s better to have something 3-10 times than not have another vital piece of the puzzle.
So I went to count up my medical Record locations
1) Physical copy Bangor <-- Supposed to have EVERYTHING
2) Electronic copy <--- Again Supposed to have EVERYTHING
3) Inpatient Bremerton
4) Outpatient Bremerton
5) Emergency Room Bremerton
6) Ultrasound/x-ray scans Bremerton
7) Inpatient Madigan
8) Outpatient Madigan
9) Ultrasound/ X-ray Madigan
10) Nuclear Medicine Madigan
11) Harrison Silverdale Outpatient
12) Dental Record

Each of their records has parts that the others do not and for me each one needs to be asked for individually. Do not forget to get copies of Vision Doctor appointments as well as anything else that happens... also make sure labs and doctors notes and anything else anyone can think of is included.

If you see a specialist (or any doctor in a different office) be sure to ask for a copy of everything as well.
Once I turn in a copy of my copy (remember you need a copy for yourself) to the VA they will send me out to a lot of different doctors to rate my medical problems. I also know I need to get copies of all the info each of these places make up as well.

Can anyone else come up with more things you might want to have for your OWN personal copy of your medical record, if you can please post them here.

OH also remember as soon as you hand a copy to any doctor for them to use it is then there record and if you want it back you may need to pay a fee… (so just give them copies).

Also don’t let them get away with telling you that you will get the information “later” get it as often as you can to keep your primary personal record up to date.

I plan on having a physical copy and an electronic copy and also I am putting a copy in my safety deposit box… and I will always have another copy or 2 so I can put up parts of it as needed to whatever doctor or specialist I may be visiting.


palmyrafan's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: Mar 2011


Again, another great idea!

I would add that people need to be aware that the Medical Records are your individual property. Many people do not know this and are intimidated by the gatekeepers who don't have the time or the inclination to want to part with the medical records in the medical offices.

You will have to sign a Release of Records form and you may have to pay a fee but the records are yours and by law, the doctor's office has to release them to you. I was not aware of this until I was advised by the patient representative at a hospital here in the area. She couldn't understand why I had such a problem getting my own records.



Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010


your medical recoard is the property of the hospital/doctor who has it... BUT you have a right for a full copy and the doctors office has to release them (for a small fee).

Yes it is a problem getting your medical recoard I think the main reason is that they are worried about being sued for some comment or some procejure that didnt go right

Posts: 582
Joined: Oct 2010

Yep, some things are left out. I know this first hand because I write in these records everyday. There are places we can write codes to let the doctors know certain things in code so that the patient isn't offended. For instance, some patients are a PIA (Pain in the A--). Others are non-compliant (N/C). There are many other abbreviations that you will never know and are not put in the records you will receive. I probably shouldn't reveal that but I thought you all should know. However, if you ever see SOB it actually mean Short Of Breath, not what you would think;)

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

I found that a phone call sometimes just doesn't work - that I may have to take a trip to the medical records office to make sure I get all of them. It's a bother, but worth the time.

I recently changed Endo's and asked to have my records transferred to the new doctor. Apparently, the old Endo's group doesn't keep the records in-house. I received a statement from a firm who says they transferred the records for my Endo's group and are charging me $40 for this service. They gave me a break down of charges...some pages at 50 cents and others at 75 cents. Gosh, I would gladly have copied them myself and saved the $40! LOL

Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

thats why i want to kepe a copy for myself... the charges are considered a nominal fee but the next transfer may cost you that $40 + what ever the other doctor wants... normaly 1 doctor can request the transfer himself/herself and the fee is not charged.

Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2011

Hello, I'm new and will intro later, but I had to respond to this, as I've started on this adventure. My doctor changed offices. I needed the last six months of my records, labs, and ultrasounds,x-rays. I had signed a release from the old office to send the records to the new office. When I went to the new office to have them fax the last 6 months to MDA, they informed me that they could only fax the previous 3 months, since that was all they "owned". What? I asked if they had received the records from the old office. Yes, they had, but they were not allowed to forward them. ARGH, so I had to go to the old office and have them fax the records they had. So now MDA will receive records from two different offices, with two different doctors names (because my doctor is actually a P.A.).

Yes, I will start to keep all my records. I'm taking an USB drive with me to every visit--they can just save it to that.


Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

So far I have collected 15 of my 16 parts of my medical record as well as 2 of 3 cd's of scans and xrays. I also collect each new record as they make them.

yes the hospitals do "own" the copy of your medical record but you do have the right to a copy of it for a nominal fee.

they probably will not save them to a USB drive but i am also scanning a copy of all of them to disk as well.

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