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The Vital Importance of Medical Records


Posted on September 12, 2014

Vital Importance of Medical RecordsMedical records allow health providers to determine the appropriate type of care an individual should receive. Without these documents doctors would find it difficult to properly treat their patients. The format of medical records has changed over time. Traditionally, hardcopies of them were made, but today it is far more common to access them electronically. Though their appearance has undergone an evolution, the overall importance of medical records has remain unchanged.

The Contents of Medical Records

Doctors access their patients’ records in order to gain an understanding of their medical history. Every previous health-related event, from diseases to surgeries, is documented in these materials. Some of the other information that is recorded includes:

  • Family medical history
  • Immunization history
  • Growth charts
  • Medical allergies
  • Habits that impact health

Also found within the records are each of the previous encounters that a patient has had with a medical professional. This information is especially useful when a patient is suffering from an persistent ailment. The doctor can use the records to determine what procedures have already been used and to decide the next type of treatment to attempt. In addition, any prescriptions and medical tests that a patient has taken can be viewed by a doctor as well.

Who Can View Medical Records

In terms of ownership, the data contained in the records belongs to the patient, whereas the physical copy of the records belongs the organization that maintains them. If patients are concerned with the accuracy of their records, then they can petition to have their information altered. The only people who have permission to view a medical record are the patient who the record belongs to and the healthcare providers who are responsible for that patient. If people want to grant someone access to their records, they have the authority to provide consent. There are some situations, though, when the records can be viewed by a legal guardian or medical professionals without permission. If there is a medical emergency or a patient does not have the capacity to make medical decisions, then the records can be accessed without consent.

How to Access Medical Records

Medical records contain a wide range of information, from disease history to medical allergies, and doctors need them to provide the appropriate treatment to an individual. Patients have total ownership of the information that goes into their records, and they can also decide who is able to view their medical history. Gaining access to personal medical records is an easy process, and by contacting Order Medical Records, people can obtain either digital or paper copies. Doctors are also able to use this service in order to guarantee that they provide their patients with the best level of treatment and care.

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