Given all the ways COVID-19 has transformed our world, your destination may also require proof of vaccination. Knowing what tools you can use to access your medical records while away can help you breathe easier during your travels.
International Medical Record Access
Living with or caring for a family member with a health condition comes with plenty of challenges and uncertainty — especially when traveling abroad
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad
Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends having the following information available (printed out and electronically):
- Learn about what your health insurance will cover if you get sick and/or injured while traveling in a different country.
- Carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form.
- Obtain a note from your doctor explaining your health condition or conditions, and the medicine that you take to manage your health.
- Have a list of phone numbers of U.S. embassies and consulates where you are traveling, as they will know which hospitals and clinics are in the area.
Additionally, always have access to your COVID-19 vaccination records; it may be required to enter the country you are visiting. If you have misplaced your COVID-19 Vaccination Card, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends contacting your vaccination provider. Some states may also let you have a digital record of your COVID-19 vaccination, such as California and Colorado.
Medical Record Access Across Statelines
There are apps to help you access your medical records while traveling domestically from one U.S. state to another or internationally.
The first step you can take is to see if the hospitals you visit have an app where you can obtain medical records. Apple's Health app, for example, also has a Health Records feature, which allows you to log into participating institutions’ sites, so you have your records all in one place.
Make sure that your app is available in the country or state where you are traveling to. To check this, you can:
- Go to https://www.apple.com/choose-country-region/if you have an iPhone or another Apple device.
- Click on the country you’re going to and see if the App is available.
Resources for Veterans: MyHealtheVet
If you are a veteran who uses veteran healthcare services, the good news is that having your medical records on vacation is fairly simple if you have a mobile phone on hand or another device you can access the internet with.
Download the My HealtheVet app from the Apple app store or the Google Play store. Once you sign into your account in the app, and you’ll be able to see your health records, including your COVID-19 vaccination records.
5 Steps to Accessing Your VA Health Records Any Time
- Sign in to My HealtheVet using your Premium DS Logon or ID.me account
- You may be asked to accept the My HealtheVet Terms and Conditions
- Select the 'Upgrade' button on the home page next to your name
- Check the certification box to verify you're the owner of the account and select 'Continue'
- After selecting 'Continue,' your account will upgrade to Premium
- Accessing Your Medical Records During Travel (University of Utah)
- Medical Records are Vital to Accessing Healthcare Overseas (Medical Tourism Magazine)
- Traveling? Make sure you have this health and emergency information with you (The Washington Post)
- Obtaining Health Care Abroad (CDC.gov)
- Getting Care When on Active Duty (Tricare)
- Report on State Medical Record Access Laws (AHIMA.org)
- Requesting Medical Records (Journal of AHIMA)