Cherry Blossom Finds Secret Medical Records
I read all the doctor’s notes and records on my online patient portal. I also read everything they handed me at the doctor’s office, and few times even requested a record from the visit.
I thought that was everything. Boy was I wrong.
When I found this site, I discovered I was only seeing summaries and not my full chart notes or treatment notes.
Soon after, I was visiting a new specialist and I wanted to see what kind of things he was writing about me.
At the second visit, I said to the woman at the front desk, “Could you please give me a copy of the medical records and treatment notes from my last visit?”
She left for fifteen minutes and then came back and handed me a piece of paper and said, “Here’s your records.”
I looked at the paper and saw that it included notes from my doctor plus information on my last visit, but the top said: visit summary.
I said, “No, I want full medical records with all treatment notes.”
She frowned, then left for another ten minutes and came back with several more pieces of paper with a lot more notes from my doctor.
I got soooo much more information about this doctor, what he was writing, and what he actually thought about my condition. It was very interesting and helped me make a good choice about whether this was the right doctor for me.
Dandelion Gets Her Records Without Leaving Her House
I called my doctor’s office and requested my records. They said I had to come in and sign a form. I asked them to mail me the form. When I got the form in the mail, I filled it out and sent it back.
Under reason the records were being requested, I wrote personal reasons. However, I’ve learned since then that if you need them for treatment reasons sometimes they will be free or discounted. Also, if you need them for a disability appeal, sometimes records can be free or discounted.
A month passed and nothing happened. I called five more times. Finally they told me the amount I owed ($50) and I gave them a credit card number over the phone.
Then, one day, like magic, I got a big packet in the mail with all my records! But it only included records from my one doctor, not all the other doctors and tests he had refer me to.
My doctor’s office told me they will not release to me records from other doctors. So, I had to contact each specialist and hospital separately. I also learned that there are special rules for psych and mental health records.
I learned so much from reading my records. I learned which doctors supported me and which did not. I learned who was good at documenting symptoms and who was not. I learned that what the doctor says is not always the same as what the doctor writes. I learned some of the things I had been saying wrong, which confused my doctor or were not clear enough and wound up looking bad in my records.
Thank God I went the extra mile to get my real records. I never would have known.
Azalea Finds Secret Medical Records
I discovered the magic words for getting doctor’s treatment notes.
I went through four different people at my doctor’s office trying to get the notes from my last visit. FOUR!
My doctor’s office is super nice. These are really good people. They literally did not know treatment notes exist. Everyone kept trying to giving me visit summaries. Visit summaries are totally useless.
Ok, here are the magic words:
“Please give me a form I can sign to request release of records”
The last woman was so nice. She just blinked and me and said “But you don’t want us to release your records. You want your own records. That can’t be right.?”
She was also saying… “I don’t understand what you are requesting… Could you write it down for me on a piece of paper?”
I just said “Thank you. Could you please find me that form?”
On the form, where it said who to send the records to, I wrote my own name and address. Then in giant letters I wrote “PLEASE SEND BY MAIL” because I could not come back to pick them up.
A week later, my records arrived in the mail.
Lolly Reads Her Records
I was shocked to find out how bad many doctors are at taking accurate notes. Some said I was a Marine Biologist instead of Archaeologist. Some focused on my dynamic husband rather than my health and my life.
I also learned that records I give a doctor are not safe. Some doctors die or retire suddenly and those records can be shredded, or lost before they are turned over despite how many times you request them.
Doctors by HIPPA laws are not able to turn over medical records of other doctors, even if you were the one to bring them in. Also hospitals are only required to keep records for a few years.
– Lolly Vann
Updated July 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.
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