Frustrated About Missing Medical Records? You Aren’t Alone


Most of us have experienced the frustration of searching for missing medical records. Being unable to track them down, whether for ourselves or a loved one, can make it difficult to manage our health care needs, and leads us to wonder:  

Where are all my medical records?

Why can’t they all be in one place?

It’s easy to pull my credit report; why aren’t medical records the same?

The reason? It’s complicated. While banks can easily pull a credit report that tells you everything from what credit cards you have to what loans you’ve taken out, there is still no easy way to do that with medical records. Here’s why:

  1. The government doesn’t require it
  2. Data privacy regulations restrict sharing
  3. Healthcare data is complex

Data Complexity

Medical records are far from simple. You’ve probably received a lab report that has pages and pages of information. Or you’ve been told a copy of an X-ray comes on a CD-ROM. There are so many types of medical records, and each is different. Imagine trying to create a scrapbook for a family vacation and being told to add in a video of your son building a sandcastle, a restaurant menu, and a piece of birthday cake. Although standardized formats are being promoted, the number of medical records in different formats is growing, which continues to make the problem bigger.

The Government

The government has a big effect on the healthcare industry. Upticks in the use of technology, such as requiring all doctors to have a patient portal, often happen because of government mandates. However, there is no central database of every person’s medical records. It’s not even required that doctors share medical records with each other; at least, not yet. That’s why different doctors ask you to fill out forms with the same repetitive information.  

In other industries, like finance, these types of rules have existed for a long time. And while the healthcare industry is slowly moving to a single electronic health record for every patient, the reality of that is still a ways away.

Data Privacy

Healthcare providers are required by law to keep your medical records private. When doctors or insurance companies are in possession of medical records, they follow strict rules about how to store that information and who they can share it with. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the law governing how medical records are stored and shared, and every provider must adhere to it. The upside is that these rules help keep records private; the downside is that they make them more difficult for you to access.

So, what can we do to ease the frustration of missing medical records while we wait for the magic of a single electronic health record to become a reality? To start, request electronic copies of your medical records directly from your doctors; they’re required to provide them to you. From there, Huddle makes it easy to manage and maintain your medical records, care plans, and more. Having immediate access to your medical records is not only useful but empowering and time saving. And with Huddle your medical records will go everywhere you do, at the touch of your mobile phone.


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