What’s in it

Your health record can help you take control of your own health, well-being, and safety. Find out what’s in a health record so you’ll know exactly what to ask for.

Having your health record makes it easier to:

What am I asking for?

Health records can sometimes be hundreds of pages long, so knowing which part of the record you want can be important. If you’re not sure, ask at your provider’s office for help.

How many copies do I need?

If your health record is not available electronically, or you or your doctor prefer a paper copy, you’ll need to determine how many copies you need.

How do I want it delivered?

Depending on the format of your health record, you have some choices about how it will be delivered to you and your care team. For example:

What format do I need?

For yourself: Choose the format that works best for you. Electronic formats are the most convenient because they’re easier to update and to share. In most cases, they take up less space. But several formats are available, for example:

For your care team: If you’re sharing your record with a new health care provider, ask what format they need. Because of differences in record keeping, each office may require a different format.

Troubleshooting Tip

Ask your provider about formats

Some types of data, like x-rays or MRI scans, may not be available electronically, so work with your provider to find out what formats they’re able to provide.

Blue Button icon

Calling all active-duty service members, veterans, and people with Medicare coverage!

You can see and download some of your health information just by clicking on the Blue Button icon on your provider’s online patient portal. Look for the Blue Button icon on: