Take Charge of Your Medical Records

Take Charge of Your Medical Records

By Ken Kabb
Veterans Law Advocate

With the advent of digital medical records, it has become much easier to keep track of your information. It is not necessarily easy to keep your medical information secure, however.

Here are a few suggestions to help you manage your medical information.

  1. Each time you see a doctor or other medical facility, demand a copy of your record for that appointment.  If it’s for an admission, ask for a copy of your admission and history, lab test results, diagnostic radiology, any special tests, and the discharge summary.
  2. Organize the medical information in a way that makes sense to you.  Be sure to keep a copy of important medical records.
  3. Share the information with each medical professional you see, especially if it involves multiple drug prescriptions or overlapping areas of treatment.
  4. Generate your own information:  correct histories, drugs taken, symptoms, etc.  Write or print it out for the medical facility to scan into your record.
  5. Have a healthcare power of attorney and living will for the medical facility to scan into your record, especially if admitted for surgery.
  6. Protect your information from unauthorized access.  Hackers can gain entry into almost any system.  Make certain you are not sharing with an insecure website or database.

The good news is that retaining and organizing your medical information is easy with systems like the Cleveland Clinic MyChart.  You can view appointments, messages, prescriptions, and test results.  You can also download an overview of your medical record to study or share with another medical professional.  Ask your doctors to upload anything you want to see, or to give you a paper copy at the end of the appointment.  If the doctor is reluctant to let you see your own medical chart “because it might upset you,” remember that the records are yours.  A good doctor will appreciate an informed, active patient.  If the doctor balks, you can find another who is more open to honest sharing of information, even if it might contain bad news.

For more information, contact the attorneys at The Kabb Law Firm 216-991-5222.