It was no coincidence that last Friday’s patient chat topic was about requesting past medical records. My current doctor had asked me for past ultrasound results so he could compare them to my most recent ultrasounds. I sheepishly had to admit that I did not have any of those test results. (I’ve had to have at least 10 ultrasounds in the past 5 years.) My doctor kind of looked at me with mock disbelief. (He knows that I founded Intake.Me, which is a digital health company focused on patient empowerment.) “That’s why we’re building Intake.Me, so I will have all my records accessible!” I responded. “Yes,” he responded ever so jokingly, “but I need to see them now.”
So, today I took my own advice and began requesting my past medical records. I clicked over to the template request letter, copied & pasted it into a Google Doc, and searched my address book for my past doctors’ names and fax numbers, and those of the emergency rooms I visited before I was finally diagnosed with cancer back in 2010. I then opened my Fancy Hands account & created a new task request: “Please fax these 4 letters to my past doctors”, attached the four versions of the medical records request letter (filled in with approximate dates of visits), and off my requests went to be processed. I started with four requests because I don’t think I need all of my oncologist’s and radiologist’s medical records right now (nor do I need the results of the foot x-ray I had done last year at my podiatrist’s office.)
Stay tuned as I report back on the results. I am a little nervous about what the bill is going to be for copies. I requested electronic copies if they have them, so I won’t have to re-scan them into my Intake.Me account. But, mostly I am looking forward to getting all of my medical results together in one place so that I can understand more about my personal health history and be more prepared when visiting my current doctors.
Wish me luck!
P.S. I’d love to hear more about your own experience with requesting past medical records. Share in the comments below.
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