Do you have your immunization history committed to memory? Can you recall the date of your last X-ray or test results from years ago? Unless you’ve had the same health care provider since birth, it can be difficult to keep track of years of doctor’s appointments, procedures or surgeries.
Collecting the pieces of your health care history and compiling them into a personal health record can help improve quality of care and keep costs low. Unlike medical records that are kept by your doctor, a personal health record is kept and maintained by the patient.
A personal health record may include the following1:
The American Health Information Management Association lists these ways a PHR can make a difference in your medical care2:
Learn more about PHRs through the AHIMA’s Frequently Asked Questions
You may choose to keep paper or electronic files, or you can use an online or app-based PHR service. Some options include, but are not limited to, the following websites and apps:
The American Health Information Management Association’s MyPHR.com can help you choose a personal health record method that is right for you and will guide you to options that are paper-based, software-based, web-based, free or for purchase.
Start by filling in the information you know and have on hand. You will then want to contact health care providers you’ve seen to obtain copies of your health care records. A release form may need to be filled out, and a small fee may be charged to cover copy costs.
Read more about health information privacy and your medical records at HHS.gov
Having quick access to your health information can help you take charge of your health care and be an advocate for yourself and your family. It ensures you have the information you need when you need it and makes it easy to share that information with your various health care providers.