The Importance of Having a Personal Health Record 5 reasons every patient should monitor their personal health record. BY ROBIN WIENER
Take control of your own health by monitoring your own records of your medical history.
“ The most effective PHRs also include helpful health and wellness tools like online journals, calendars, reminders, and self-management action plan tasks.”
Patient engagement is being touted as the blockbuster drug of the century. The facts are clear—the more you get a patient involved in monitoring their own health the better the outcome will likely be.
One of the most effective ways to increase patient engagement is with a personal health record (PHR). PHRs provide many benefits to those who use them, but like one’s credit rating, just having a record is not enough. It is important that people keep up on monitoring them, too.
Personal health records are essentially a comprehensive online health file. Each person who has a health record will find that it contains such things as their history of medical conditions, procedures, medications, allergies, and immunizations. It keeps a detailed record of everything one could want to know in order to manage their health better. The most effective PHRs also include helpful health and wellness tools like online journals, calendars, reminders, and self-management action plan tasks.
If a PHR seems like too much work and just one more thing you'll have to worry about; here are five reasons why every patient should monitor their personal health record once it has been created:
1. Save money. One of the benefits of a PHR is that it can help people save money. This is because it will help prevent duplicate procedures from being performed. Doctors can have access to the information they need right away, rather than having a patient re-do a test.
2. Ensure accuracy. By maintaining a PHR patients can ensure that the information contained in their health record is accurate, updated, and inclusive. Patients can provide more accurate medical history information to their doctors and share important health tracking information from their online health journal and home health devices.
3. Have more control. Keeping up with the monitoring of one’s PHR will help ensure that the person has more control over it. They know how to access it, what’s in it, and how to use it when needed.
4. Provide info as needed. Monitoring the PHR is a good way to be ready to provide the info when it is needed. Patients will be familiar with it, know how to access it, and can even provide the info while traveling, during emergencies, and when trying out a new doctor.
5. Stay organized. Monitoring the PHR regularly will help ensure that it is organized and ready to be used. Rather than just setting it up and walking away, it ensures that everything is organized and ready to be put to good use.
Having your own medical history at your disposal puts you, the patient, back in a position of power to be responsible and informed of your own health status. When all is said and done, you're the person with the most at stake.
Robin Weiner is the co-founder of Get Real Health. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, Get Real Health is an award-winning global health information technology pioneer specializing in patient engagement and connected care solutions. Visit www.getrealhealth.com for more information.