Protecting the Public's Health
Medical records are a critical component to the delivery of healthcare services. Detailed medical records that are kept over a lifetime can help ensure a higher standard of care, eliminate duplication of services, and provide continuity of care if there is a change in healthcare providers. It is the patient's responsibility to make sure their medical records are forwarded to new healthcare providers.
The Board has attempted to ensure that the information contained in this document is as accurate as possible. This is merely a synopsis of Arizona Revised Statutes Article 7.1 Medical Records.
What are my rights as a patient?
Unless otherwise provided by law, all medical records and the information contained in medical records are privileged and confidential. A health care provider may only disclose that part or all of a patient's medical record that is authorized pursuant to law or the patient's written authorization.
How can I see my medical records?
As a patient in Arizona, you have the right to view or have copies made of your medical records by submitting a written request. The physician or physician assistant will need time to retrieve the records and they may charge a reasonable fee for copies. The only time access to medical records is restricted is when their release is inadvisable due to treatment of the patient for a mental disorder as defined in A.R.S. 36-501.
How long do physicians and physician's assistant have keep medical records??
Arizona statutes require that medical records be kept for a period of at least seven years after the last date of treatment or for three years after a child's eighteenth birthday or seven years after the child's last visit, whichever is longer. Most physicians and physician's assistants will keep medical records for the length of time of the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims.
Who can see my medical records without written authorization?
Any past, present or future healthcare provider may have access to pertinent portions of your medical records as they relate to services they have provided or will be providing. Some other entities that may have access to patient medical records are the Arizona State Board of Medical Examiners, ambulance attendants, insurance companies, medical credentialing companies, and family members of the deceased.
Have a question or suggestion for improvement?
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