What Is a Medical Record or Chart?

| Patient Education

We’ve all seen a provider type out our health updates or perhaps, in another time, flip through a clipboard. If you’re curious about their notes and how to access them, you’ve come to the right place.

First, let’s discuss what those notes might be referred to in the medical field. You’ve probably heard someone mention your medical record or chart and wondered about the difference. Several terms are used interchangeably to reference what is basically a document of notes containing information about your health. Your medical record logs data like:

  • Diagnoses
  • Tests
  • Immunizations
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Treatments

Why Are Medical Records Important?

Providers keep meticulous medical records to serve as points of reference for many reasons. Primary care providers especially benefit from keeping medical records. Over time, they can identify ideal methods of care most suited to their patients.

Medical records can also inform emergency personnel of pre-existing conditions and allergies that may impact treatments, surgeries, and prescriptions. Establishing a record with a thorough health history serves providers in many scenarios.

What Are Medical Records Used For?

Your medical record contains important information that impacts your health journey. It’s a useful document for your provider but you can also benefit from keeping track of it. Here are ways your medical record is used to support you:

During appointments

  • During appointments your record is used to track changes since your last visit. For example, fluctuations in blood pressure, heart rate, or weight may indicate a new course of action is needed to maintain your health.
  • Between visits you may reference your record to account for data you collect with monitoring devices. For example, you may track your heart rate during exercise for optimal performance.
  • Your record may also serve as a reminder of instructions you’ve received. For example, if your provider recommended you lower your cholesterol, they may leave actionable steps for doing so in their notes.

How Do I Get My Medical Record?

Your health is yours and so is your record. Having access to your information can help you make informed decisions as you take back your health. Here are ways to request a record:

  • In-person pick up
  • Mail
  • Secure email

If you’re interested in seeking care at Schneck but you’ve worked with providers elsewhere, don’t forget to release your record so it can be fully reviewed when you visit us.

Access More Information on MySchneck

A great place to get current information, contact providers, and view reports is your patient portal. At Schneck, our portal is called MySchneck, and it comes with many resources like:

  • Medications and refill requests
  • Reports and provider notes
  • List of screenings and immunizations
  • Laboratory results with graphed timelines
  • Account balances and payment portal access
  • Mobile MHealth app

Our supportive staff are happy to assist you with accessing MySchneck so you can take back your health today.

Call us for assistance

Review Your Medical Record

Consult a provider at Schneck Primary Care for support on your health journey. They can help you review your medical record and assess your overall health. From there, you’ll be able to form an actionable plan to improve.

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Doctor Baker

About the Author

D. Robert Baker MD

Dr. Baker is a family medicine physician with Schneck Primary Care in Seymour, Indiana.