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how to get copies of your medical records

Complete a Patient Access Request/Authorization Form

To request your records, start by contacting or visiting your provider’s health information management (HIM) department—sometimes called the medical records or health information services department. Smaller doctor’s offices may not have an HIM department, so ask to speak to the administrative staff in charge of releasing patient records.

Select Your Records

The access request form also will ask what specific information you would like to have copied.

Knowing exactly what records you want or need can be difficult. Patients who are unsure can ask an HIM professional to help them narrow down their requests, according to Jennifer Miller, MHIS, RHIA, director of HIM and compliance officer at Loma Linda University Healthcare, based in Loma Linda, CA.*

Bring a Photo ID

If requesting records in person, you will be required to show a valid government-issued photo ID at either the time of their request or when picking up the record.

If you are picking up another person’s records, you will require additional legal documents and information to demonstrate your right to access records on another’s behalf, Miller says. Be certain to ask about these requirements in advance.