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Your medical record is an important document: nonetheless most people do not give it a second thought until it is needed for some reason. This record contains information about your physical health, and much more, history of illness and treatments, intimate details, character and mental state.

It remains mainly up to the individual to verify the accuracy of the record held by your physician, insurance office, hospital, and employer.

You need as a consumer to be aware of your medical records and its findings. This is necessary to inform medical health care providers of you’re past medical conditions and most States do allow the patient to look at his records. To find out how your state handles this question, contact the Department of Health.

Looking at your medical records, and charting if in the hospital, gives you the opportunity to make sure the doctor has written down everything correctly, and that the charting by nurses is un-biased and accurate. For instance you may have told your physician repeatedly that you are having “upset stomach” and he has failed to make a written note of your complaint. This omission could possibly effect the insurance utilization review’s go-ahead for related tests.

Nurse’s charting comments should be simply the facts, and no conclusions or diagnoses. Biased comments from nursing staff for instance, noting that a diabetic patient is an “alcoholic” because this disease at times mimics an alcoholic’s behavior. Your doctor alone has the right to diagnos an illness.

This document will be shared with other medical professionals, and is their way of learning about you and your specific problems. Make sure the notes really reflect your illness and are correct. It is a good idea to keep documentation (at home) of your doctor visits, prescriptions, and various medical information, as backup just in case you forget important facts.