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Get To Know Your Healthcare Team Monday, July 20, 2015 | Vera Rulon

When you go to your doctor’s office, you may have noticed that you may have seen your doctor but for a short time at the end of your visit. As a matter of fact, a study showed that doctors spend only a few minutes per patient, including post-visit case work outside the examination room.

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Your Rights Regarding Your Personal Health Information Monday, September 29, 2014 | Vera Rulon

You may have noticed that when you go to your doctor’s office, to the hospital or a clinic, not only do the healthcare providers ask you for personal health information, such as your medical or family history, but they also record a lot of information about you. Although the physical or electronic medical records maintained by your doctor or hospital belongs to them, the content in these records belongs to YOU. This is why you should know what your rights are to get copies of your records and know what is in them, as well as, who can access your records.

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Tags   access
Safe Travel and Your Personal Health Information Monday, August 04, 2014 | Vera Rulon

What would you do if you became ill while traveling and have to see doctor who doesn’t know you or go to a hospital you have never been to before? What if you have a medical condition that needs to be considered in case you have an accident or get sick? Should healthcare providers be aware of any medications that you take or of any allergies that you may have? Will you be able to effectively communicate your important medical information should you become ill or injured while traveling?

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Get Old Thursday, November 21, 2013 | Vera Rulon

Getting old is a personal matter. There is no one way that works for everyone. That’s why Pfizer launched a movement called Get Old which asks two questions: How do you feel about getting old? And, how do you want to Get Old?

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Tags   seniors
Aging: Manage Your Health After 50 With a PHR! Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Vera Rulon

As we age, our healthcare needs change. Some things become more pronounced, like the lower back ache I get when I get up in the morning or getting a hot flash when you least expect it. Some of these things are natural. Some are indicators that there might be something more series going on.

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Tags   ehr, seniors
Be Healthy in Old Age: Keep Track of Your Personal Health Information Saturday, February 11, 2012 | Vera Rulon

In an article in the Los Angeles Times  Judith Graham provides some excellent tips on staying healthy in old age. Each of these suggestions are ways to change your lifestyle just enough to be happy and healthy. The only thing I would add is that it’s also quite important to keep track of your personal health information. Read on.

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Tags   seniors
A new tool for assessing mobility Friday, January 28, 2011 | Maria Kovell

Two health and exercise professors have created an interactive tool for assessing mobility in aging adults.

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Tags   seniors, technology, caregivers
Now Reading: Impact of Health Literacy on Access and Use of a PHR Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | Ted Eytan

This is the first study to assess real-world use of an industry-leading patient portal (Kaiser Permanente’s My Health Manager) in a large, ethnically, culturally, socioeconomically, and educationally diverse sample of diabetes patients with a range of self-reported health literacy skills.

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Tags   health literacy, physicians, phr, personalhealthrecord
Personal Health Record Use is On the Rise Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Donna DuLong

A recent report states that Personal Health Record (PHR) usage is low, but has doubled in the past two years. The report was conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation, and found that one in 14 Americans say they have used a PHR. Even more important is that consumers with online access to their health information pay more attention to their health.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, seniors, chronicallyill
AARP on EHRs Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

AARP’s 2007 Global Report on Aging explores both personal and electronic health records from a domestic and an international perspective.

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Tags   healthinformation, technology, communication, seniors
Seniors and Fitness: Enhancing your PHR Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Leann Reynolds

Vashon Athletic Club owner Kevin Allman, of Vashon, Wash., spends a majority of his time at the gym training senior citizens, which make up an healthy 30-40 percent of his clientele. Located on an island with a population of just over 10,000 residents and a median age range of 44 years old (Seattle’s median age range is 34), Vashon’s demographics have contributed to Allman becoming somewhat of an authority in training seniors.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medicalrecords, caregivers, seniors
Work with nurses to prevent hospital readmission Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Judith Figueroa, a 69-year-old New Yorker with multiple heath problems, once visited the ER almost every month. By working with Carolyn McCrea, RN, of Visiting Nurse Service, Figueroa hasn’t been back to the hospital as often.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, caregivers, seniors, chronicallyill
Personal Health Records Help Patients Manage Their Own Care Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

 One way in which seniors can take more control over their healthcare and help ensure they receive the most appropriate care is by using a personal health record (PHR).

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medication, seniors
Health Literacy Cuts Costs, Increases Well-Being Tuesday, April 06, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Fifty-eight year old cancer patient Marty found himself drowning in a “scary sea of medical jargon” after a cancer diagnosis. He describes himself as well-educated, but struggled to understand his diagnosis and treatment.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, insurance, chronicallyill, healthliteracy
A PHR Lets You Share Your Family Tree Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

A PHR can chart your family health history just as a family tree tracks geneaology.

Fred Cicetti, author of the Santa Ynez Valley Journal’s “Healthy Geezer" column, recommends that seniors who are uncomfortable with sharing their family health history orally share it in writing. Preserving the past also allows you to ensure that your medical geneaology is complete, accurate, and useful for future generations.

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Tags   healthhistory, seniors
EHRs, PHRs Lead to Smarter Care Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Did you know that up to one-third of treatments aren’t based on the latest research? Keeping a PHR, either on paper or online, allows doctors to examine a complete medical history and offer you the best chance for recovery or for management of a chronic illness.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, medicalhistory, electronichealthrecord, ehr, chronicallyill
Managing Multiple Prescriptions Friday, March 19, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

A recent Canandian Insititute for Health Information study found that most Canadian seniors take at least five drugs. According to the University of Chicago, the average American senior fills 22 prescriptions per year. Multiple doctors, specialists, and caregivers can add to the confusion over when and how to take medication.

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Tags   healthinformation, emergency, medication, caregivers, seniors
"Borderless" Health Care Would Help Seniors in Emergencies Sunday, March 07, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Imagine your favorite feisty 75-year-old as our hypothetical patient, Mrs. Cruz. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, she now lives at a local senior housing complex. One evening, rushing to answer her telephone, she trips and falls, breaking her hip.

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Tags   healthinformation, emergency, access, seniors
Boomers lead on personal health records Monday, March 01, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Think PHRs are only for the young? Think again. Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and the Veterans Administration confirmed that the 50-65 crowd is most likely to use a PHR.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, communication, seniors
Think outside the box! Monday, February 08, 2010 | Cindy Boester

When it comes to creating your Personal Health Record (PHR), remember that it’s more than just the medical information you gather from your primary doctor or hospital. Think of all the other things that impact your well being. 

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, seniors, wellbeing, exercise
Asking for copies of your medical records Monday, August 31, 2009 | Cindy Boester

It’s OK to ask for copies of your medical records! 

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medicalrecords, caregivers, seniors, HIPAA
Why a Personal Health Record is a Gift to your Family Wednesday, August 05, 2009 | Heidi Shaffer

My mother is close to celebrating her 90th birthday. Up until 8 years ago, she led a very active on-the-go life, traveling from one part of the country to another, visiting her four children as often as possible.  We took her apparent good health for granted, especially since the four of us are healthy as well.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, familyhistory, medicalhistory
Visiting with my 81-year-young mother in her golden years Friday, June 05, 2009 | Marsha Dolan

The other day I was visiting with my 81-years-young mother. Like many others her age, she has a few chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes and some short-term memory loss. Recently, she also had to start using insulin to control her diabetes. She and my father spend a significant amount of time driving to and from doctor appointments and trying to deal with insurance and medications and testing. She expressed her feelings of frustration when she said, “our golden years aren't so golden anymore.” 

Maybe you also have that same thought or have expressed that same feeling to someone you love.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, aging

About This Blog

PHRs are still fairly new to the healthcare system, and we understand that as healthcare consumers, you have questions about the benefits and risks of keeping a PHR. For this reason, we provide a communication forum – the Seniors’ Blog – to connect you with health information management professionals for tips and advice on creating and maintaining your own PHR. This section of also provides resources and educational material about PHRs to answer some of your questions and help you determine if a PHR is right for you.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Vera Rulon, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Erin Jordan, Dana Clark


PHRs do more than manage medication. Stay up to date with information that can help you communicate with your doctor and stay out of the hospital.

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