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Family Medical Records (cont.)

Can't a Patient's Records Be Obtained From His or Her Family Doctor?

It is true that primary-care physicians or family physicians often have the most current and comprehensive health records for their patients. However, to rely solely on the family doctor to be available all of the time and be able to locate the records instantaneously is unrealistic for these reasons:

  • Emergencies can happen at any time -- day, night, weekend, and holidays -- and one's personal doctor may not available all the time.
  • A medical release form has to be authorized by the patient individually or by patient representative for another doctor, a specialist, or a facility to receive this information. This process is time-consuming, and it may take days or even weeks; it is usually associated with out-of-pocket administrative cost.
  • A patient may see multiple physicians for different health conditions, and it could take the family doctor some time to receive all the medical information from the consulting physicians.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/5/2014

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