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Requesting Copies of Your Medical Records in Oklahoma

Everybody will need a copy of their medical records at some point. For example, if you file an injury claim, your medical records will serve as valuable evidence, as they provide a thorough history of the treatments you’ve received and the doctors you’ve consulted.

However, if you’ve never tried to obtain copies of your medical records before, it’s likely you don’t know about your rights to these documents or the best way to go about getting copies. Learn how you can request copies of your medical records in Oklahoma to get the evidence you need for your injury claim.

Basics of Medical Records

You have a legal right to your medical records thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This federal law allows you to request copies of records from all of your medical providers. There are some exceptions to this rule, but you will usually be able to get the records that you need.

Besides your own medical records, HIPAA allows you to request other people’s medical records under certain circumstances. For instance, if you are someone’s designated representative, such as an infirm parent, you can make a request for their medical records. Similarly, if you are someone’s legal guardian, you should be able to obtain a copy of their medical records as well.

You can acquire your own child’s medical records unless your child is receiving medical care under court order, your child has consented to care in a state where your consent is not required, or you agree to the confidential relationship between your child and their doctor.

Getting Medical Records in Oklahoma

In addition to HIPAA, there are state laws to consider when requesting your medical records.

In Oklahoma, third parties are not allowed to access your medical records without your express permission. There is a standard form you can give your medical providers to release your records.

While you do have access to your own records, you may need to pay a fee for copies. It is possible you will be charged fifty cents per page. For electronic records, you cannot be charged more than thirty cents per page.

Notes that have been made by a mental health professional will be kept separate from your normal medical records. Only the treating physician can grant access to these records. Prison inmates will only be given copies of their records if it would not put their safety at risk.

Electronic Health Records Make It Easy to Access Medical Records

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have revolutionized the way healthcare information is managed and accessed. In Oklahoma, like in many other places, the use of EHRs has become increasingly prevalent, providing numerous benefits to both healthcare providers and patients.

Most healthcare providers in Oklahoma, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices, have adopted EHR systems. This widespread adoption is partly due to federal incentives and mandates aiming to improve healthcare quality and accessibility.

Many EHR systems in Oklahoma are designed to be interoperable. This means they can communicate and exchange information with EHRs used by other healthcare providers. This is important for comprehensive patient care, especially for patients seeing multiple specialists.

How Can You Access Your EHRs?

If you’re looking to access your EHRs online, there are a few things you’ll need to know:

  • Registration and Setup: Patients typically need to register for a patient portal provided by their healthcare provider. This process usually requires verification of identity to ensure security and privacy.
  • Features of Patient Portals: Once registered, patients can access various features, including:
    • Viewing their health records, such as lab results, medical history, and medication lists.
    • Messaging healthcare providers for advice or information.
    • Scheduling appointments and receiving reminders.
    • Requesting prescription refills.
  • Benefits of Online Access:
    • Convenience: Patients can access their health information anytime and anywhere, without the need to physically visit the healthcare provider’s office.
    • Empowerment: Having access to their health records empowers patients to be more involved in their healthcare decisions.
    • Improved Communication: Direct communication with healthcare providers enhances the overall care experience.

Medical Records Exceptions

There are certain situations where you can be denied access to your medical records.

If your medical records are being used as the basis for a lawsuit, you may be unable to obtain copies. It can also be very difficult to get copies of notes made by your psychotherapist. Finally, your doctor may deny your request if they believe that giving you your medical records would cause you harm.

Talk With an Attorney

If you need your medical records for a personal injury lawsuit, you should be sure to get assistance from Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers.

Our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys can help you obtain your medical records and advise you on the best way to use them in your injury claim. Contact us today.

Originally published January 17, 2018.