Understanding Your Medical Records

A guide on using electronic health records

Your medical records belong to you. Now, it’s easier than ever to access your electronic health record. 

In 2020, two federal laws were passed to ensure patients have quick access to their medical records electronically. You may start to see new types of notes in your records from Scripps. To help, we’ve put together this informational webpage on how to understand medical records, how to read the notes and what to do if you have a question.

How do I access my medical record at Scripps?

The fastest way for you to access your information is through MyScripps — our secure, online patient portal and mobile app.

How do I send my medical record to another person?

Whether sending to a family member or physician, sharing your Scripps medical records is simple.

  • To share your record with a family member, log in to MyScripps and send a Proxy Invite by going to Share My Record > Friends and family access > Invite someone. You can also sign up for Adult to Adult proxy access in person at any Scripps location.
  • To share your record with a doctor outside of Scripps, log in to MyScripps and go to Share Everywhere to grant them one-time, limited access to your health information.
  • Request a hard copy by mail, fax or email. Some fees may apply.

What information is included in my medical record?

The Privacy Rule gives you the right to review and receive a copy of your medical records, with a few exceptions. In 2020, the ONC 21st Century Cures Act and the CMS Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act increased the amount of information you can access electronically. 

Under these federal laws, you will have access to most of your medical information, including: 

  • Discharge summary or visit summary 
  • History and physical
  • Progress notes
  • Procedure notes 
  • Operating notes 
  • Consultation notes

Your test results are released to your MyScripps account after your doctor has had a chance to review them. This is generally within two days. 

Note, some test results must be reviewed and released by your physician first. This includes test results related to pathology, diagnostic mammogram with biopsy, HIV, hepatitis and drug abuse.

What is the best way to understand my medical record?

We recommend reading your Visit Summary or Discharge Summary first. This document is a recap of your office visit or hospital stay. It describes the reason for your visit or hospitalization, significant findings, procedures and treatment provided, and any instructions on what you need to do next.

While you have access to other documents, the notes in your MyScripps account are primarily used by your care team. These extra documents, like progress notes and procedures notes, help your care team coordinate and deliver the best care possible. 

How do I ask a question or report an error in my medical record?

Your MyScripps information comes directly from your electronic medical record (EMR) at your doctor’s office. Ask your doctor to correct any inaccurate information at your next clinic visit.

It’s important to know that notes are often entered by someone other than your doctor, such as a hospitalist, physician assistant, nurse or medical assistant. It’s still best to refer questions to your doctor about your health or your records at your next visit.

For other helpful information, visit the MyScripps FAQ page.