Patient Bill of Rights
to be treated with dignity, respect and consideration
to have your medical records kept confidential
to have every consideration of privacy related to your medical care
to have a chaperone present for any examination when needed or desired
to participate in planning your health care
to refuse to participate in any research
to receive the information you need to make an informed decision about your health
to receive information in terms and language you can understand
to know what services are available and how to obtain them
Quality is the assurance that health care services will be consistently delivered to achieve optimal patient outcomes and create high levels of patient satisfaction.
Access to health records, practices and rights
A health care provider or a person who gets health records from a provider may not release a patientís health records without a signed and dated consent from that patient. Sometimes the law makes exceptions.
Release of health records and confidentiality:
Certain federal and state laws protect patientsí rights to confidentiality of their health records.
Under Minnesota law, a patient may review any information in his or her health records, regarding any diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. If a patient asks in writing, a provider must give the patient copies of either the records or copies of a summary of the information in the records, unless the provider has determined that the information is detrimental to the physical or mental health of the patient, or is likely to cause the patient to inflict self harm, or to harm another. If such a determination has been made, then the information can be given to another provider or appropriate third party. Minnesota statute sets a maximum charge for the retrieval and copying of records.
Release of health records without patient consent:
In a medical emergency
In circumstances specified in statute, health record information may or must be released without the patient's consent.
The following are some, but not all, examples
When a federal law requires it
When someone receives a court order or a federal grand jury subpoena requiring release of health information
Under Minnesota law to the following persons or organizations for specific purposes:
Department of Health
Department of Human Services
Department of Public Safety
Department of Commerce
Department of Employee Relations
Department of Labor and Industry, insurers and employers in workerís compensation cases
Office of Mental Health Practices
Ombudsman for Mental Health and Mental Retardation
State Fire Marshal
Community Action Agencies
Health professional licensing boards or agencies
Schools and childcare facilities may transfer immunization records without consent
Law enforcement agencies
Public or private post-secondary education institutions
Local welfare agencies
Medical examiners or coroners
Medical or scientific researchers
Minnesota Health Data Institute
Potential victims of serious threats of physical violence
Guardians or conservators of incompetent persons
Parents/legal guardians of a minor who is being treated where failure to inform could create serious health problems
Insurance companies and other payors paying for independent medical examinations
Proxies, ombudsmen, attorneys-in-fact
If you have any questions or require additional information, call the Minnesota Department of Health at (651) 282-6314.