Are you trying to manage Mom’s health care while also juggling shot records for your kids? Have you assembled a small army of health providers to tackle your own health issues? Are you trying to manage a chronic condition while your boss has you traveling from coast to coast each week? If so, a portable Personal Health Record(PHR) is perfect for you.
What is a Personal Health Record (PHR)?
PHR’s such as Google Health are a convenient, efficient and safe way to store and share your health record. This information is even more powerful when made available through your mobile device such as your iPhone or Android. Once you open an account online, Google will help you compile your health profile or create a profile of a loved one from the comfort of your own home. A PHR will only store the health information an individual chooses to enter into their account. Only health information volunteered by an individual can be stored in a PHR.
PHR information includes:
- Basic demographic information (sex, height, weight)
- Current medical conditions
- List of current medications (program will flag any potentially dangerous drug-to-drug interactions)
- Allergies and adverse drug reactions
- List of illnesses, hospitalizations and surgeries (including dates)
- List and graphing of laboratory and other test results (such as blood pressure readings)
- Vaccination record
- List of all physicians and medical providers complete with address and phone numbers
Why would you want a PHR?
7% of Americans currently have used a personal health record. This might be a low number, but this represents a doubling from the previous year. Healthcare consumers who own, use, manage and share their medical data are empowered consumers who leverage this for better access and saving money. With a PHR it is easy to electronically share your health profile with new providers or during emergency situations. Assembling your medical data electronically can be very helpful in emergency situations when you are away from your records.
5 People who should have a PHR
- Individuals with chronic health conditions that require monitoring or periodic care.
- The sandwich generation of caregivers: individuals juggling health needs of both elderly parents and young children at home.
- Individuals with complex health conditions that require multiple physicians with many records
- Frequent business travelers who would benefit from the medication inventory and health history.
- Anyone who wants to have a complete record with them at a moments notice during an unexpected event for verification of dates, immunization records or provider names and phone numbers.
Companies such as Healthagen are taking this powerful tool and making it mobile. The mobile application for iPhone and Android called iTriage allows individuals to have ready access to their personal health records when it matters most: at the point of care. Mobile software coupled with a PHR is encouraging a positive change in the delivery of healthcare. Someday pen and clipboard personal histories that patients fill out before each new doctor visit will be a thing of the past.