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Seniors blog

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. 

For starters, do you exercise?  Walking, jogging, yoga, tai chi, and lifting weights are examples of activities that you should include in your PHR.  How often do you work out?  How long? 

Then there’s nutrition.  It’s most important to have documentation of any special diet you are on, including any restrictions and/or allergies to certain food groups.  If you are seeing a nutritionist, note the name and phone number for easy followup by family and friends when necessary. And speaking of nutrition, do you take supplements?  Vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances that you assume are harmless may be vitally important information to a treating physician in a medical emergency.  Interactions between medications and supplements can and do occur.

There are doctors and there are doctors.  Many of us immediately think of our internist/oncologist/neurologist/surgeon as the doctors of record for our PHR.  But you also have your teeth and eyes to consider.  Dental records and visits to optometrists are as much a part of a PHR as your other documents. 

Speaking of doctors, don’t forget to keep an up to date listing of all medications you’re on: dose and frequency, and any home measurements you may perform, e.g. blood pressure, blood sugar levels.

The PHR is a wonderful tool to help you manage your health.  It can be a life saving tool in an emergency.  The more that’s known about you, the better the response.  Be creative in what you put into your PHR.  If you think it’s important, include it!

Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, seniors, wellbeing, exercise

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, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan


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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