Access to your health information is your right.
Your personal health information is YOUR information, and you are the best expert about yourself. Understanding your health history and your current health concerns, medications that you’re taking, allergies you may have, and obtaining access to any lab results, x-rays or medical screenings and tests is part of being the best advocate for yourself and your health care. Knowing how to access your health information can help you have the right conversations with your primary care provider, can help you set and track healthy goals and make better decisions with your provider. You are the most essential part of your health care team!
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA for short, is a government regulation that gives you the important right to see and get copies of your health information. HIPAA also sets standards for how your information is managed and protected to ensure your privacy. As a health care patient, you have many rights under HIPAA. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website provides more information about all of your patient rights and some frequently asked questions. There are also specific resources available on the HealthIT.gov website to learn more about your rights under HIPAA.
There are many ways that Fort HealthCare supports you in having access to your personal health information. There is no barrier to obtaining your information – but there are certain steps that must be taken to keep your personal health information protected and private, which is very important. Specific requests about your personal health records is managed through our Health Information Management (HIM) department. Here are several ways you can get your health information from Fort HealthCare:
- Speak with your primary care provider. You can also message your provider’s office directly using the MyCompass patient portal.
- If you are enrolled in the MyCompass patient portal, much of the important health information that you need is available all in one place, including visit notes from your appointments. If there are documents that you need that aren’t available in MyCompass, our HIM department can send them to you through MyCompass after the proper authorization is established.
- You can track a lot of health information in certain health-related mobile apps and share that information at different appointments with different providers. Fort HealthCare has a mobile version of the MyCompass patient portal available, called HealtheLife. It’s available for both Android and iPhone users. Fort HealthCare can also connect to the Apple Health app for iPhone users. Click here to learn more about Connecting to Health Apps.
- You can also request copies of your medical records from our HIM department. We do require that you complete an authorization form and verify your identity with us before we can release the information to you. Information about how to do this is available on our HIM department web page. HIM can provide documents to you on a CD or flash drive, and can provide the first 25 pages (or more) free for paper releases.
- Also, don’t share your personal health information with anyone that doesn’t need to know about it. Especially avoid posting your health condition or related information on social media accounts if you don’t want that information to be shared or accessible by the general public. Safeguard your personal health information as you would your bank account information or passwords and other sensitive information.
Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities
Fort HealthCare believes that a patient who understands and participates in his or her healthcare will benefit to a greater extent than one who does not. We have a formal expression of our commitment to our patients in the form of the Patient’s Bill of Rights. This document also informs you of your responsibilities in the care process as a patient of Fort HealthCare. Please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns regarding your care or any aspect of your visit with the healthcare team. If you feel your needs are not adequately addressed, please contact the president at ext. 5401 or (920) 568-5401 and explain your concerns.
Click here to read the full Patient’s Bill of Rights .
Know your rights
If you think your health information privacy rights have been violated in any way you have the right to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR is also responsible for enforcing civil rights laws that apply to recipients that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age. Some laws may also protect against discrimination based on gender or religion. We’re serious about working with you to protect your health information and make sure you have access to it. Know your rights.