Owning Your Health Records



Posted on July 1, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 12 at 1:52 PM

There you are again, sitting in the waiting room, getting ready to see a new doctor, and filling out the endless paperwork. Do you remember when your child had her immunizations? Which ones? How about your grandmother's history of cancer--or was that your grandfather? Which drugs are you allergic too? It's pretty overwhelming, but what's even more nerve-wracking is the knowledge that errors in your intake forms can lead to problems--and missed diagnoses--later on.

And then there's the business of transferring records from one provider to another. Whether you're seeing a new primary care physician, seeking a second opinion, or visiting a specialist, there are plenty of times when you have to make sure that the right records get to the right people. For many of us, it's hard to know where to begin. And it's clearly a growing problem for a lot of people.

Building Your Health Record Using the online tools on this site, you can create a for yourself, your child or other dependant, and record vital information such as:

  • Allergies
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Health Conditions
  • Health Plans
  • Immunizations
  • Medications
  • Health Care Providers
  • Personal Information
  • Pregnancies
  • Procedures

Plus, you have the option to download a copy of your PHR as an Adobe Acrobat PDF or Microsoft Excel file. You can email it to your health care provider, print a copy for your records, or bring a copy with you to your next doctor visit. There's an added benefit--you'll get 1,000 Rewards points for starting a PHR and 5,000 points (per year) for updating it. Get started--create a PHR today!

What About Privacy and Security? Your Personal Health Record is secure. No one but you can access the information or add to it, and as an added safety measure, you have the option to securely password-protect the Adobe Acrobat PDF or Microsoft Excel file when you download it.

Taking Stock of Your Family History Your family's medical history provides valuable insight into your own health. Many conditions (including heart disease, cancer and diabetes) are hereditary. When you have a clear view of your genetic background, and you share this information with your doctor, you can work together to make better-informed decisions about your health care. For the most accurate medical history, you should gather as much information as possible about your family members, including siblings, parents and grandparents--and be sure to include your significant other and in-laws, too. Whenever possible, get the information straight from the sources.

Take control of your family's health care--create a today.