Ever feel like you’ve been viewed as a difficult patient? Or maybe something was not recorded accurately during a doctor visit? Elaine feels you. Back in 1996, a Seinfeld episode finds Elaine sneaking a peek at her medical records only to find she was labeled “difficult” during a prior medical visit. The doctor catches Elaine viewing her records and tells her she cannot view them. It was true. Until August 1996 people did not have a legal right to view their records.

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) into law, which grants the legal right for any person to view and obtain his or her medical records. Our grantees at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and creators of OpenNotes, developed this new video featuring the infamous Seinfeld episode and e-patient Dave sharing the facts and benefits of having medical records.


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