Department Spotlight - Medical Records

August 25, 2020

Fauquier Health’s Medical Records Team – “We may not be seen, but we play a big role.”

What services are provided by Fauquier Health’s Medical Records Department?

Medical Records is the repository for all patient medical history. From their first visit, to their last, they provide access to medical records to the patient or patient designee, insurance companies, attorneys and other medical institutions for continuum of care. The department is responsible for:

  • Submitting patient requests for report addendums to attending physicians and/or authors of the patients’ reports
  • Handling authorization of medical release records
  • Following through to ensure complete patient records

The department must ensure the integrity of each record and confirm that it has all the necessary components based on the type of visit. 

All staff working within the healthcare industry are more than familiar with following HIPPA guidelines to ensure security of personal information and to protect any identifiable information. The Medical Records department specializes in following HIPPA guidelines to ensure Protected Health Information (PHI).

Long story short, they are the “keepers” of medical records.

Hospital Impacts and Operations

Medical Records is an integral component to hospital operations. They are not able to release medical records without proper authorization from the patient. 

Did you know? Medical records are held for 10 years before being purged completely. If the patient is a minor at the time, their records will be preserved until they are 18 years of age.

Parental Access and Child Minors through eChart

Patients may have access to their medical records via eChart (Fauquier Health’s trusted patient portal). Minors (persons under the age of 18 years old) are not eligible for signing up for an eChart account on their own. Once a person is 18 years of age, they are considered as an adult. That means that the parents are not entitled to access the child’s medical records unless the child gives permission to release.

The “Nitty Gritty” Details Matter

Health Information Management (HIM) operates under the Medical Records department. HIM ensures that a patient chart has all necessary components. It is important that each piece of patient information gets scanned correctly into the patients’ accounts. This is important because it impacts everything from billing to the patient’s care after they leave the hospital.