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Requesting your medical records is oftentimes a complex, burdensome process. Because your protected health information (PHI) is highly sensitive, there are strict regulations regarding who may release it, who can access it, and under which circumstances it can be released. 

As outlined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a healthcare provider that has some or all of your PHI may not share it with other parties unless you have authorized them to do so. To comply with HIPAA regulations, healthcare providers put all sorts of safeguards in place to protect your PHI from cyber criminals. Unfortunately, this makes the process of retrieving medical records extremely complicated. 

Reasons to Build a Personal Health Record (PHR)

Despite the complexity of the medical records request process, it’s advisable to build a personal health record. This is a compilation of all of your medical records from your birth to today. There are two reasons for this.

1: As HealthIT.gov points out, having a PHR makes it easier for you to share information such as lab results, immunization dates, and screening dates with your healthcare team. If you have your PHR available in an electronic format, it becomes much easier for healthcare providers to treat you, especially in an emergency. 

For example, let’s say you have diabetes type 1. You’re proactive about your health, so you’ve obtained your PHR and shared it with your healthcare provider. Now, if you’re involved in a collision and are unconscious, the EMTs can reviewyour PHR before they arrive. They’ll know you’re diabetic, so they can measure your blood sugar and check to see if they need to administer insulin along with providing other emergency care. This kind of expert help can be life-saving!

Similarly, if you build a personal health record for your child, you’ll never have to worry about providing proof of immunization. This will likely be required to enroll them in school, so being proactive now can save a headache later.Also, if they get injured or sick, you can easily share all their health data with their healthcare team.

2: Having a comprehensive PHR can help prevent you or your child from being misdiagnosed and receiving the wrong—or even no—treatment for a serious condition. Approximately 15% of patients receive the wrong diagnosis, and a misdiagnosis can lead to serious harm or even death. It is important to do everything you can to prevent this from happening.

When you have all of your medical information in one place, your doctor or specialist can review your medical history.This helps them build a complete picture of your health and the treatments you’ve received. As a result, they may be able to more accurately diagnose and treat you for your condition. 

Collect Your Family’s PHRs in the ChartRequest Patient Hub

Building a PHR for yourself and your dependents is easy to do with the ChartRequest Patient Hub.

You can simply select the provider(s) from whom you need medical records, enter the patient’s details, and authorize the request. When the provider has released the records, you can check out and gain access to them. Then, you can download them or store them in your account for future reference. 

You’ll always have your family’s medical histories on hand, whenever and wherever you need them.

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