How to Obtain a Copy of Your Medical Records and Documents
To obtain copies of the medical record, the patient's written authorization must be signed and dated, and it must include the name and address of the individual who is to receive the copies of the record, the treatment dates that are to be copied and the reason for the request.
How to Obtain a Certified Copy of a Louisiana Birth Certificate
You can obtain information regarding requesting a certified copy of a birth certificate from the State Registrar and Vital Records page of the Department of Health & Hospitals website. Then, click on BIRTH RECORDS.
How to Obtain a Birth Verification or Proof of Birth Letter
You will receive a complimentary Birth Verification letter upon completing your baby's birth certificate. A Birth Verification contains the baby's name, date and time of birth, place of birth and parent's names. It is important that you keep this document for verification of birth until you receive the certified copy of your baby's birth certificate. To request an additional Birth Verification letter, contact the Birth Certificate Office or the Health Information Management Department (Medical Records) at the medical center where your baby was born.
Information Regarding Your Child's Social Security Number
It typically takes two to four months to receive your child's social security number. If you need a social security number sooner, you may apply in person at any of the Social Security Administration's offices. You may also call the nationwide number at 800-772-1213 for additional information or visit the Social Security Number and Card page on the Social Security Administration's website.
Birth Registration & Louisiana Paternity Laws
Louisiana laws govern the last name you are allowed to give your newborn child and the recording of the newborn child's father on the birth certificate. The laws differ depending upon whether the mother was married at the time of conception and birth.
Questions Regarding Your Child's Birth Certificate
"How long does it take to receive the birth certificate?" You will receive a complimentary copy of your baby's birth certificate from the Louisiana vital Records Registry. It can take from 3 to 6 months to receive this copy.
"What do I do if there is a problem with the birth certificate?" If you need to make a correction on the birth certificate (i.e. incorrect date or time of birth, misspelled name, etc.), contact the hospital where your baby was born. Depending on the circumstances, the hospital may be able to issue a correction letter which you can submit to Vital Records to correct the birth certificate.
If you would like to make a change to the birth certificate (i.e. adding the father's name, changing the baby's name), contact Louisiana Vital Records at 504-219-4500. There may be a fee to make these changes. For more information, please visit the State Registrar and Vital Records page of the Department of Health & Hospitals website. Then, click on BIRTH RECORDS.
Starting a Personal Health Record
As a patient and healthcare consumer, you may have seen your chart at your doctor's office. In fact, you may have records at several doctors' offices. If you've ever been hospitalized, visited the emergency room, or had surgery performed, you will have hospital records as well. Again, it is possible that you have records in more than one hospital. To keep track of all this information, it is a good idea to keep your own records in a personal health record or PHR. A personal health record is information about your health compiled and maintained by you. Individuals who are managing chronic disease conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease are strongly encouraged to create and maintain a personal health record.
What kind of information would you put in a personal health record? You could start with the following:
- Your name, date of birth, and emergency contact information
- Your blood type
- Dates and results of tests and screenings
- Major illnesses and surgeries along with dates
- A list of current medications and dosages
- Chronic diseases or conditions
The American Health Information Management Association, a professional organization dedicated to the effective management of health information, recommends several formats for keeping your personal health record (PHR):
- Simple paper documents kept in a manila file folder
- Information stored on a computer disk carried with you
- Portable devices, such as a USB drive that plugs into most computers
- Internet based secure system accessible from any computer - fees/subscriptions may apply For addition information or to compile your personal health record, please visit the AHIMA PHR website.