Medical Records

Medical Records: Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How can I obtain copies or review my medical record?

Answer: Patients have a right to access their own medical records. A signed Authorization to Release Protected Health Information form is required. Click here to download in English. Click here to download in Spanish. Complete and sign the authorization form. Mail or fax the completed form to Valley Presbyterian Hospital's Health Information Management Department. You may also bring the completed form to our office or complete the authorization form in person. Click here for a Guide to Obtaining Your Medical Records which includes step-by-step instructions, our address and fax number.

Please note that the Health Information Department will not be able to process an authorization form that is not signed and/or incomplete.

To review your medical record, contact the Health Information Department at 818.902.2939 to schedule an appointment. We are open Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 4:30 PM. Closed on major holidays.

Question: What does the information in my medical record mean?

Answer: You should always discuss your health information with your doctor. They can help you understand entries and interpret the information in your medical record.

Question: If I disagree with the information in my medical record, what should I do?

Answer: Contact the Health Information Management Department, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 4:30 PM at 818.902.2939 for assistance.

Question: Who is legally authorized to obtain copies of my medical records?

Answer: Adult patients can request copies of their own medical records. A parent or legal guardian may ask for copies of their minor child's medical records. An individual with a legal power of attorney can request copies of a patient who has granted them the legal power of attorney (for example, wife, husband or partner, or a disabled adult). The deceased patient's next of kin may ask for copies of their medical records.

Question: Can my doctor, who is outside of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, request my records?

Answer: Yes, your doctor can fax a request for medical records on their office letterhead. We ask for two patient identifiers (date of birth, full name) in order to establish physician/patient relationship.

Question: How long does it take to receive my requested information?

Answer: Requests are processed within 15 days of receipt. However, we will do our best to complete your request as soon as possible.

Question: Who can pick up my medical record copies?

Answer: If someone other than the patient will be picking up copies of medical records, please let us know in advance. The person picking up the medical records must bring written authorization from the patient as well as a copy of the patient's identification. Identification is also required for the person picking up the record.

Question: What is the charge for copies of my medical records?

Answer: The hospital will provide the first 10 pages at no cost to the patient. There is a 25 cent per page charge for personal copies of medical records exceeding 10 pages. You will receive an invoice by mail for the amount of copies that exceeds 10 pages. There is no charge if your records are being sent directly to another health care provider.

Question: Do you accept credit/debit cards?

Answer: No, we do not accept paycollect payments. You will receive an invoice for payment.

Question: My child's school needs a copy of immunization records. How do I request that?

Answer: We will only have the record of the first shot your child received. You must sign a release form to obtain this documentation. Your child's pediatrician will have a record of all immunizations and will be able to print this out for you.

Question: How long are medical records kept?

Answer: Medical records for adult patients are kept for 10 years from the discharge date or treatment date. The medical records for minor patients (18 years or younger at the time of treatment) are kept for 25 years.

Question: What if the patient is deceased?

Answer: If a patient is deceased, the authorization must be signed by the appointed personal representative. Otherwise, a surviving spouse, an adult child, a parent, or responsible next of kin may authorize release of records. If you are requesting records for a deceased patient, please be prepared to provide proof of beneficiary status or Power of Attorney.

Question: Can I get my medical records on CD?

Answer: Yes, you can receive your medical records on CD.

Question: Can I get a CD of my radiology/imaging studies?

Answer: Yes, contact the Imaging Department at 818.902.5294. Completion of the Authorization to Release form will be necessary. A CD of any cardiac studies are also provided by Radiology.

Question: Can I request a copy of a Death Certificate?

Answer: Death Certificates are available through the Office of Vital Records.

Office of Vital Records

313 North Figueroa St, Room L-1
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 240-7812
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday