Many today assume that all of their medical records are safe with their PCP. Guess again. When I switched to my current PCP I signed the usual medical transfer forms and later learned my new PCP had not much of any of my records. I had mentioned my IgAN as part of an early visit and she told me its not in my records. I was surprised. I was told that as (this was pre-Affordable Healthcare Act starting) the new Healthcare starts and doctors, hospitals etc scan in documents that if a person has not seen them in 15 years their files could be destroyed.
I hit the ground running. I wrote letters with a release to every doctor I had ever been to since I was born in 1967. Some of my records were stored in an old minute man missile bunker in Kansas, others in attics. In the end I found all my kidney records in the attic of a doctors office in a very small town. Hospitals and doctors across the nation were happy to help if they still had my records. In the end I may have gotten only 70%. I then scanned them and organized them into folders by topic, year and doctor. I have them backed up in 3's and keep them on my Tab. It is ironic that in at least 6 or more cases a doctor or hospital has failed to transfer the correct records and I was able to pull them up on my Tab. On 3 occasions the doctor used my tablet as his medical reference to treat me.
It has also helped with blood work. Blood work only needs to be done every 3 to 6 months for routine, in some cases my blood work did not follow me to the referral doctor. They suggested doing it again. When I mentioned I had it on my Tab the doctor was delighted. I do the same for my wife and it came in need for her blood work and her hearing test. She has to have one every 6 months as she is loosing her hearing.
Although most doctors charge for medical records I was grateful no one charged me. I am waiting for one more set, it has over 200 pages, that will then be all I am able to collect all across the nation.
So how do I keep them up to date?
Well on each doctors visit my doctor always gives me a copy. With new doctors I explain what I do and no one has ever denied me. In fact 100% of all doctors have been impressed with my file system and the detail and vastness of my records. I have been told many times by doctors that they wish all their patients did this. Although it took me a lot of work in the beginning it takes little to keep it up to date and it has saved me from having blood test repeated or a scan. I have avoided many many test by having copies on my tablet and in so doing saved a lot of money. Americans have become dependent on ALL their medical care being taken care of by their doctor. But in reality your medical records are your responsibility not all the different doctors you see. Think about it. Your PCP sends you to a specialist and you expect that doctor to send ALL your records back to your PCP. Or you go in to hospital and again expect all records to be sent to your PCP. In fact very little of what you may need later is sent. If you secure those records then you have them.
Also every doctor has a whole lot of clients you are 1 in hundreds. You are NOT unique or special. In some cases you may have a good relationship with your PCP but it is still a doctor/patient relationship and you should take charge of your medical health. If every person took charge of their medical records and kept up with test done to them think of how many millions in dollars would be saved.