Can a patient review and/or receive copies of their own medical record?
Under normal circumstances patients have a reasonable right to access their own medical records. All viewing of medical records takes place by appointment. A completed request form is required. To download the form, go to altru.org. (All requests by the patient for copies of medical records must be received in writing and the patient needs to be responsible for any duplication costs.)
How long are medical records kept?
Medical records for adult patients will be preserved until at least the tenth anniversary of the date on which the patient was last treated at any Altru Health System facility.
Who is authorized to sign for release of medical records?
The authorization must be signed by the patient, a parent of the patient (if the patient is a minor), or the patient's legally empowered representative.
Who is authorized to sign for release of medical records if the patient is deceased?
If a patient is deceased, the authorization must be signed by the appointed personal representative, if any. Otherwise, the surviving spouse, if any, an adult child, if any, a parent, or responsible next of kin may authorize release of records.
Is there a charge to request copies of medical records?
There is a $20 minimum charge for personal copies of medical records as well as copies sent to law firms and insurance companies. The charge is based on the number of pages requested and is charged according to North Dakota and Minnesota statutes. There is no charge if your records are being sent directly to another healthcare provider.
Is there a charge to request copies of X-ray images?
Yes. There is a charge of $15 per CD for copies of X-ray images, unless sent directly to another healthcare provider.
When you send records to another facility, do you send copies or the original? Will there still be information at Altru Health System if I return as a patient?
The medical record itself is a legal document and the property of Altru Health System. Therefore, the original medical record stays at Altru Health System and copies are sent to the other facility.
Can my doctor, who is outside of Altru Health System, just request my records?
Yes, if you are still under treatment from that doctor.
Who can pick up medical records?
If someone other than the patient will be picking up copies of medical records, please let us know in advance. The person picking up the medical records must bring written authorization from the patient. Personal identification is required for all pickups.