Personal Health Record
A personal health record (PHR) is a health record initiated and maintained by an individual in contrast to an
electronic medical record which is a patient health record generated and maintained by a doctor or other healthcare
professional. Although a personal healthcare record can be in the form of a handwritten health diary, the most
practical way to create and maintain a PHR today by using a personal medical records software
application which is computer-based. It allows you to organize and retrieve legible data more efficiently than a
written health diary and has far greater functionally than a USB personal health record on a flash drive. A record
local computer also provides greater security, privacy, accessibility and an Internet-based
There are many reasons to have a personal health record, but some of the most compelling ones are as
· 120,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors in
· If the Center for disease control's annual list of leading cause of death included
medical errors, it would rank as number six, ahead of diabetes, and pneumonia.
· 18% of medical errors are due to inadequate availability of patient information.
· Almost no emergency room can always adequately retrieve your critical health
information in a time of emergency.
· Medical records are constantly being lost: the doctor retires; your hospital or HMO
may purge old records to save storage space; paper records are frequently lost or unavailable.
· Employers frequently change group health insurance plans resulting in patients
having to change doctors and request the transfer of medical records which are oftentimes illegible for the new
· Only 5% of doctors keep medical records on a computer.
A properly compiled and maintained personal health record also better prepares you for non-emergency doctor
visits, and avoids the need for recent lab tests or x-rays being reordered because the results are not available to
doctor that you might be seeing for the first time. This avoidance of duplicate testing can be a considerable cost
savings for you.
Your own personal health record also gives you access to important information needed in a variety of
situations such as filing for health insurance, filling out the medical section of a job application and applying
for a navigation license, whether it be during a DOT physical or a Federal Aviation Administration flight
Implementation of a personal
health record need not be difficult or laborious, and does not necessarily need to be accomplished in one
sitting. A very convenient time to begin the creation of personalized record is during the preparation
phase of filing for health insurance, but it can be created at any time and over a time frame most
convenient for you.
Based on research of various personal health record products and hands-on familiarity, the following health
record software program is felt to be of state of the art quality and the one recommended by the
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