Why are medical records important?

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Doctors take a detailed history of each patient's medical history, including pain history, to make sure everything has been tried before prescribing opioids. If your doctor is familiar with you and your history, he or she can determine if you may have addictive behaviors or any warning signs that could lead to overuse of a medication. When it’s a new patient, doctors have to be aware there’s a possibility that the person may be trying to obtain a prescription to augment an existing one.

Medical records are important to you for many reasons. Medical records can be used to:

  • Support reimbursement for health services provided
  • Provide evidence of injury and treatment for workers’ compensation
  • Provide evidence of disability for disability insurance
  • Identify people who have had a specific treatment when it has been discovered that this treatment caused some adverse events
  • Study disease trends to identify potential environmental or genetic causes
  • Track changes in your physical findings such as growth of a mole. Baselines are recorded so changes are recognized.

Continue Learning about Managing Your Medical Records

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.