Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the frequently asked questions below regarding medical records. If you have additional questions, please call Sanford Release of Information at:

Sanford Bemidji Region
(218) 333-5537

Sanford Fargo Region
(701) 234-2366 or toll free (800) 437-4010 ext. 2366.

Sanford Sioux Falls Region
(605) 333-7289

  • My child's school needs a copy of immunization records. How do I request that? You must sign a release form. Your child's pediatrician can also print out a copy of your child's immunization record for you.
  • Can a patient review and/or receive copies of their own medical record? Yes. Patients have a right to access their own medical records. A written, signed authorization request needs to be filed with Health Information Management — Release of Information. You may also view your medical records by appointment in the Release of Information department. We cannot accept requests over the phone. You must sign the authorization form and present it by mail or in person. You will also be responsible to pay for copy fees.
  • How long are medical records kept? Medical records for adult patients will be preserved until at least the fifteenth anniversary of the date on which the patient was last treated at any Sanford Health facility. And Medical records for minors?
  • Who is authorized to sign the authorization form? The authorization must be signed by the patient age 18 or older, a parent if the patient is a minor, or the patient's legally empowered representative/guardian.
  • What if the patient is deceased? 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.
  • What is the charge for copies of medical records? There is a $20 minimum charge for personal copies of medical records or for copies sent to law firms and insurance companies. The charge is based on the number of pages requested and is charged according to North Dakota and Minnesota statutes. There is no charge if your records are being sent directly to another healthcare provider.
  • Is there a charge to request copies of x-ray films? Yes. There is a charge of $5.00 per film for copies of x-ray films.
  • How long does it take to receive requested information? We process requests as quickly as possible. We do require a minimum of 48 hours from the time we receive the request to process it.
  • When you send records to another facility do you send copies or the original? The medical record itself is a legal document and the property of Sanford Health. Therefore, the original medical record stays at Sanford and copies are sent to the other facility.
  • Can't my doctor, who is outside of Sanford Health, request my records? No, we need your written authorization to send information.
  • Who can pick up medical records? 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. ID is required for all pickups.