Are You An Expert On Your Own Health?


When you go to the doctor’s office routine visit, they’ll often ask you simple questions about how you’ve been feeling lately. But the truth is, it’s impossible to have a strong picture of our own health today without taking a look at our own histories.

Do you remember getting mononucleosis as a child?

How old were you when you broke your arm?

You know SOMEONE in your family tree has a history of heart disease, but who is it?

Life is busy, and the last thing we can remember on a day-to-day basis are all the little nuances of our health records. However, all those little nuances are incredibly crucial, because no one can be an expert on you like you can. More importantly, YOU are your biggest advocate, and if you’re going to advocate for something, you’ve got to be in full possession of the facts.

Know your rights

HIPAA is a great thing. This law (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), protects many people in the United States, and it also allows us the right to our own medical records.

Why does this matter?

Well, you could need your own health records for a myriad of reasons, but not all doctors feel the incentive to share them with you. HIPAA, however, says that you can have them if you want them.

Here’s how it works:

You’ll likely have to fill out a release form and then wait for the records to be prepared. Depending on the method your provider chooses, it could take up to 30 days for you to receive the information you require. If you need health records for a loved one, you’ll most likely need a medical power of attorney unless you are their parent or legal guardian.

Sound like a lot of work? It could be!

Why you need your records (and those of the ones you love)

Maintaining our good health is an ongoing battle and it requires that we understand a good deal about our past so our healthcare providers have a comprehensive picture on which to base their recommendations for the future. Having your own records at hand not only makes you more knowledgeable, it empowers you in an emergency situation where information is needed quickly.

Moreover, as we progress in life, it may become necessary for our family members to help with our care. In these situations, it’s even more important to have records easily accessible so others can help with providing proper care.

An easier solution

Recent regulations strengthen your rights to receive your records in electronic format. And, a growing number of applications are available to help you understand and make use of your records. Veterans and Medicare beneficiaries have even more options. Having possession of your health records health record can help you understand, advocate for, and manage your health care, making you an “expert on you”.

mCharts is the first application of its kind, designed uniquely not only for the easy exchange of healthcare information, but also to put those records back into the hands of the people who truly need them — us.

Learn more about how to get your healthcare records here:

Kirstan Vandersluis