As much as 30% of the entire world’s stored data is generated in the healthcare industry, where a single patient history typically generates ~80 megabytes in imaging and electronic health data each year.

The explosive growth in digital medical data allows healthcare providers to take advantage of greater intelligence in the care of patients. To be the best advocates for our own health, patients should understand their rights to their most personal data.

You have rights that protect your health data privacy, security and so much more. In February of 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economics and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (as Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) required healthcare providers to demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic health records by 2015. Part of the demonstration of meaningful use requires that healthcare providers provide you, their patients, with electronic access to view and download personal health information within a reasonable timeframe from your last doctor’s visit. This is typically within 1-4 days of your visit. As a result, healthcare facilities have adopted Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems for electronically managing your healthcare information, and typically provide online patient portals as the electronic method of choice for providing you access to your records.

Most healthcare providers in the United States have implemented patient portals to provide you access into your personal health records. Through a secure connection, you can directly message your doctors with questions, refill prescriptions, and schedule appointments. You’re even able to view and download your personal health records.  

Furthermore, access to your personal health records enables you to directly contribute to research, advance science, and drive discovery. Learn how you can do more with your personal health records at