How can I get access to my medical records?

UPDATED: Mar 4, 2012

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How can I get access to my medical records?

During the premature birth of my son it was discovered that my kidneys were not filtering. I was at a teaching hospital and although the doctor was supposed to refer me to a kidney specialist the referral never got sent. There was also nothing about any of the tests or problems in my discharge papers. My primary doctor told me that they will not do any of the tests or give me a referral until I have the records proving there’s a problem. I have been struggling for the past 5 months to get a copy of my records.

Asked on March 4, 2012 under Malpractice Law, South Carolina


Robert Johnston / Law Office of Robert J. Johnston Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have a legal right to your medical records. In South Carolina there is a state statute called the Physicians Patients Record Act. That particular statute states that you as a patient have a right to your records. The medical facility can require you to sign a release and they can charge you a small fee for copying.

Try contacting the facility and asking for a manager. Some people prefer to send a certified letter. Make it clear you want your records and are willing to sign a release and pay the copying fee. If you do not get any results, then you can contact the medical board in Columbia and they have a complaint form you can fill out and submit and they will follow up on it.

I would suggest you try the diplomatic approach first. If that doesn't work, tell them you will file a complaint with the medical board and give them a chance. If that still doesn't work, then you can file the complaint.

Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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