An individual's medical records are considered confidential, which means a patient's health care records may only be accessed by the patient (or the parents of minors) or care providers involved in the patient's health. Many states carve out an exception where the public's health is concerned, such as the presence of a communicable disease. The federal government provides protections through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA ), while state laws often provide additional protections .
Oregon Medical Records Law at a Glance
Under Oregon law, patients have the right to expect that their medical records will be "safeguarded from unlawful use or disclosure," while asserting a patient's right to examine his or her medical records upon request. Where acts of violence are suspected, including bruises that may indicate domestic violence, attending physicians must report such injuries to the proper authorities.
Additional details of Oregon's medical records laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Patient Rights section for related articles.
|Relevant Code Section||§192.553, et. seq.|
|Who Has Access to Records?||The patient: "It is the policy of the State of Oregon that an individual has (a) The right to have protected health information of the individual safeguarded from unlawful use or disclosure; and (b) The right to access and review protected health information of the individual."
|What Privileges Apply to Medical Records?||Health care providers may use or disclose protected health information (a) with written authorization, or (b) without authorization when used by the providers' own operations or by order of the court ( (§192.558)
|Mandatory Reporting Requirements||Suspected violence: physical injury with knife, gun or other deadly weapon (in confidence) (§146.750)|
|Patient Consent and Waiver||-|
|Provisions Related to HIV/AIDS||HIV test results confidential, but may be shared with the victim of a crime who may have been exposed if the testing is required by the court (§433.075)|
Note: State laws are never final and are subject to change at any time, most often through new legislation or landmark appellate court decisons. You may want to contact an Oregon health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Oregon Medical Records Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.