Accessing Your Records
Each time you visit a hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, the provider makes a record of it. Typically, this record contains your health history, current symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as your medical record, serves as a:
- Basis for planning your care and treatment
- Means of communication among health professionals who care for you
- Legal document describing the care you received
- Means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that you actually received the services billed
- Tool in medical education
- Source of information for public health officials
- Tool to assess the appropriateness and quality of care you received
- Tool to improve the quality of healthcare and achieve better patient outcomes
Understanding what is in your health record and how your health information is used helps you to:
• Ensure its accuracy and completeness
• Understand where, when, why, and how others may access your health records
• Make informed decisions about authorizing disclosure to others
• Better understand the health information rights
Patients have the right to obtain a copy of their medical records from Lakeland Health. You must submit your request in writing. This may be accomplished one of two ways.
Use the request form provided by Lakeland Health in the button below. Return the form to Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph at the address listed below.
Submit a letter of request. In order for us to help you, the letter must contain the following information:
- Date of your service at Lakeland Health
- The purpose of your request: legal, medical follow-up, insurance, or personal
- The name/address of the person who is to receive the records
- Your signature and date the letter was written
Submit the written request to Lakeland Health at the following address:
Health Information Management Department
1234 Napier Avenue
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Fax the form or letter to 269-982-4305
Most requests require 48 hours to process. There may also be a fee charged for providing this information depending on the nature of the request. For more information, please call 269-983-8625 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
You can only request your own medical records, unless you are requesting a copy of a minor child/children (under 18 years of age). In the event that a patient is deceased, the personal representative appointed by the court can request copies of records. The personal representative must mail in a copy of the court paperwork in addition to the written request.
Each subsequent request of medical records requires an additional written request, form or authorization.