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Tips To Keep Your Personal Health Record (PHR)

Whenever you visit a doctor, you must have observed that they ask for your personal health record. And every time you get yourself checked at a hospital or a clinic, some related information is added to your health record. However, in most cases, a complete personal health record can't be found in any single location or the same format. It is always a great idea to keep your own personal health record arranged as it helps you in providing your details to your healthcare providers for the quality care you receive.

A personal health record (PHR) can help reduce or prevent clutter or repeat tests. It can also allow you to receive quicker and personalized treatment and care in case of an emergency.

What is a personal health record (PHR)?

Your personal health record is made up of several reports, containing your past treatments and medications. The file depends upon the type of healthcare you have received throughout your life.

Most personal health records include health history, physical exam notes, medicine records, progress notes, and prescriptions. PHR should also contain all the X-ray and lab reports and immunization records.

When do you need a PHR

Medical emergencies can arise all-time, all of a sudden. Maintaining your personal health record is one of the most excellent ways of having your health information accessible. By keeping your health records in place, you and family members can always have essential records available, in case of emergencies or you change your doctors, or your doctor relocates or retires.

With your personal health record handy, you can -

  • Effortlessly provide information to new specialists
  • Have access to your past health records when you need it for further reference
  • Knowledgeably talk about your health with your doctors
  • Refer to previous prescriptions, allergies, instructions, medications, and insurance claims

Creating a PHR

To create your personal health record, ask for copies of your current health records from all your doctors or healthcare providers. Take copies of the documents and make a file containing all the information. Also, your personal health record should include your immunization status, which contains a list of medicines you currently take along with a list of recent or current illnesses and chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, thyroid, or diabetes, and a list of past illnesses or surgeries. If you have a health insurance policy, you should also keep a copy of your health insurance policy​​ documents in the record. Keep the documents updated whenever possible.

It's totally up to you how you want to arrange and keep your personal health records. You can either have a hard copy or get the documents scanned to have a soft copy. The key is to have your health-related information handy and up-to-date.​