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Patient Records

Records Storage

OMB licensees are advised to keep patient records, including those of deceased patients, for a minimum of ten years after the patient's last contact with the licensee.  If space permits, indefinitely retain records of all living patients. This is not a Board requirement, but this guideline will help OMB licensees meet the Oregon statute of limitations.

Patient Access to Records

With very few exceptions, patients have the right to access their records. Physicians, physician assistants, and acupuncturists (OMB licensees) must make medical records available to their patient or their patient's representative upon their request, as provided in OAR 847-012-0000 and except as otherwise provided by law.

OMB licensees may use the written authorization form provided in ORS 192.566, see the sample form. Upon written request, OMB licensees must make a copy of the medical record available to the patient and should comply with a request within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days.

OMB licensees may charge a patient reasonable costs for providing a copy or summary of the records, but may not deny the records because of the patient's inability to pay or because of an outstanding bill for services. The OMB rule, OAR 847-012-0000, outlines allowable; however, OMB licensees often provide records without charging a fee.

To assist patients and OMB licensees, the OMB provides an Information Sheet on Patient's Access to Records that includes the OMB rule and sample form that may be used for a patient to request medical records.

The Oregon Medical Board does not retain medical records and there is no central storage place for medical records. Patients should contact the health care provider directly or their health care organization to request access to medical records.

If a OMB licensee has stopped practicing and a patient is unable to locate their medical records, please contact the Oregon Medical Board at or 971-673-2700 to ask if a records storage address is on file for the OMB licensee.

Ending Oregon Practice

OMB licensees planning to cease practice in Oregon are required to ensure safe storage and access to patient records. The OMB licensee should:
  • Notify patients by letter that their practice will end and give the effective date, it is suggested this notice be provided at least 30 days prior to ceasing practice
  • Notify patients of the records location and how to access them
  • Notify the Oregon Medical Board of records location and how to access them, the OMB retains this address and provides it to the public and patients upon request
  • Advise patients that they must seek the services of another health care provider or refer them to another provider
  • Advise patients that their records will be forwarded to the provider of their choice upon receipt of a properly signed release form
  • Notify the Oregon Medical Board of an updated mailing address

The OMB provides guidance to OMB licensees on ending practice in the Statement of Philosophy on Ending the Provider-Patient Relationship

There is no central storage place for medical records. When closing a practice, there are usually several options regarding medical records, such as transferring the records to another provider group or contracting with a records storage company.  

For the requirements on a patient's access to medical records, refer to OAR 847-012-0000. Questions may be emailed to