Your personal medical records are exactly that: they are “yours” and they are “personal.” They contain much of your most sensitive information, and it would make sense that they would remain private for your eyes and your eyes only. You’re never required to share your medical records with anyone outside of your healthcare provider. And according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (better known as HIPAA), your healthcare providers aren’t allowed to share this information either. However, there are some instances when it can be helpful for your family members to have access to medical records and health history whether it’s for your health or for theirs.
For Your Child’s Health
Your own health and your child’s health will be forever connected. Your health history is part of what becomes their health future. To ensure that they are receiving the best possible care, they need to know the full scope of their family’s health history. When your child grows up and is asked about conditions that run in their family, they should have your health records to turn to for that information. Is it hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism that runs in our family? Information like that should be included in your health records, so your child knows exactly where to turn when they’re asked.
Before An Emergency
No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, but it is important to plan for it. Sharing your medical records with a spouse, a parent, or an adult child can ensure that you are receiving the proper care in case of an emergency. Even the most basic information such as your allergies or medications and dosages can play a huge role in your care. If family members are aware of this information beforehand, they can advocate for you at a time when you might not be able to advocate for yourself. According to HIPAA, there are some cases when doctors can consult with your family members to make a decision regarding your care. If your family already has a knowledge of your health history, they can make more informed decisions to guarantee that you’re getting the treatment that you need.
As You Get Older
Aging brings so many gifts: life experience, deeper relationships, perspective. But it can also bring additional medications, procedures, doctors, specialists, and other health events. This can be a lot to keep track of! Compiling and organizing all of your personal health information can be simplified with tools like OneRecord, which will consolidate all of your records from all of your healthcare providers. OneRecord also makes it easy to share this information with trusted family members who play a role in your healthcare. Once all of this information is cataloged and easily accessible, you can get back to enjoying the aging process, because there are so many things to enjoy.