Once you have made an appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), you may be asked to share your medical records with your new doctor. By having your medical records, he or she can take that information into consideration when evaluating and treating you. Shared information among healthcare providers helps to assure coordinated care.
The federal law known as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) applies regardless of where you live and whether you are requesting medical records from an insurance company, a hospital or a doctor’s office.
HIPAA gives you the right to access your medical records and receive copies of them. Your health care provider may be moving from paper records to electronic health records (EHRs) or using EHRs already. No matter what form your medical record is in, privacy protections to your health information still apply. Read Partners HealthCare Notice for use and sharing of protected health information.
Requesting Medical Records
The process for requesting your medical records usually includes these steps:
- Fill out an authorization form allowing your medical provider to share records with your BWH doctor.
- Let your provider know if the request is urgent.
- Specify which types of records you want included. Your care coordinator at BWH can advise you. This way you will not be charged for records that are not needed.
- Pay required fee.
Under HIPAA, medical providers have 30 days to fulfill a records request. Hopefully, your medical records will arrive at BWH sooner, especially if your provider is using an electronic health records system.
Once you have the records in hand, make copies and store them safely.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is part of Partners eCare, a secure electronic health records systems for all institutions within the Partners network.
Patient Gateway is a secure online tool for BWH patients to manage their health. Sign up to view your medical records, schedule appointments and communicate with your doctors.
This page was last modified on 2/11/2016