How long does it take to get a medical record?

Requesting medical records can be a complete black box.

Tracking or following up on a manual request is difficult and in many cases a healthcare provider will give you the cold shoulder if you reach out too often. So what should you expect in terms of turnaround time when you are requesting a medical record?

The general guidelines stipulate that a health information custodian (the person who is releasing the record) has 30 days to release the record. After the 30 days has passed the custodian can be allotted more time depending if there are some extenuating circumstances regarding the request.

From reading that you may expect that 90% of records would reasonably be produced within 30 days. The truth is far different.

We've survey 10s of thousands of requests for medical records and graphed the turnaround time of healthcare providers across the country. Despite the requirement for release within 30 days our survey results show just 65% of records fulfilled within that time period. At 60 days the survey reported 90% of records fulfilled and almost everything, at 99%, was fulfilled by day 90.

The survey results:

Join the movement to improve health information exchange