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Why should everyone have a PHR?
We believe that all individuals should be able to readily access, understand, and use their personal health information. A PHR allows individuals to be more active partners in their healthcare, and gives them up-to-date information when and where they need it. A PHR provides a single, detailed profile of a person's health status and healthcare activity. It facilitates informed decisions about the care of the individual. It may also reduce duplicate procedures or processes, such as repeated lab tests and x-rays, saving time and money. A PHR helps people prepare for appointments, facilitates care in emergency situations, and helps track health changes.
What should a PHR contain?
The PHR should contain any information relevant to an individual's health. In addition to medical information such as test results and treatments, a PHR may include diet and exercise logs or a list of over-the counter medications. It can be more comprehensive than a medical record. A PHR should contain the following information:
- Personal identification, including name and birth date
- People to contact in case of emergency
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of your physicians, dentists and specialists
- Health insurance information
- Living wills, advance directives, or medical power of attorney
- Organ donor authorization
- A list of dates of significant illness and surgical procedures
- Current medications and dosages
- Immunizations and dates
- Allergies or sensitivities to drugs or materials such as latex
- Important events, dates and hereditary conditions in your family
- Results from a recent physical examination
- Opinions of specialists if applicable
- Important test results and dates of tests, eye and dental records
- Any correspondence between an individual and their provider
- Current educational materials, or appropriate web links relating to one's health that could be used for discussion at the time of a provider visit
Where to begin?
Howard County General Hospital does not currently participate with any PHR websites. If you would like to create your own PHR, a good place to begin is to go to the website myphr.com. This site is provided as a free public service by the American Health Information Management Association. We also suggest that people find out if their providers, employers, insurers, etc provide access to a PHR. Each person can create a PHR at their own pace, perhaps starting at their next medical visit. The important thing is to get started.