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Checklist: Prepare a PHR for Your Next Move
Friday, April 09, 2010 | Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez

I am the mother of a toddler and a kindergartener. I recently started a patient-centric health record, which consists of aggregating documentation and information from several sources of healthcare. This would allow for a “true” medical record consisting of my children’s health information from birth to present (at least for my children). A true medical record would have all your information in it. Most of us have seen over 10 doctors in our life time with no one specific medical record containing all the information. Patient centric just refers to a focus on a type of care that provides meaning full information while being an active participant in your own health.

In order to become patient centric, all you have to do is create a “command central” for your medical information. Basically, just designate a place to keep all your medical information in. It could be a a large accordion folder, binder, online PHR provider, or a computerized program.  This is not an item you should pack when the movers are packing. It should be accessible to you and you take it with you. This “command central” should include at minimum:

- A list of medicines and other medical supplies you need.
- The names and contact information of your Primary Care Manager (PCM) and pharmacy at each location. Remember it may take a while for DEERS to change your information and for you to have the pharmacy access at your next PCS to fill your order, you may need to contact your previous pharmacy.
- Relevant documentation such as: Consults, H&P’s, operative reports, discharge summaries, medical tests.
- Vaccinations
- Problem list and social history

AHIMA’s holds more recommendations for what to include in your PHR. My personal opinion is that Personal Health Records (PHRs) hold great promise for military families dedicated to improving health care quality through increased access and increasing their own engagement in care through patient empowerment. The Department of Defense (DOD) already has acknowledged the civilians sector’s efforts and is currently in the process of offering an online PHR. Maybe one day we can also convince the DOD to one day make the PHR a part of the PCS checklist. Until then, a PHR is a great way for all of us to manage our medical information and have all the contact information ready for yet another move.

Tags   medicalhistory, personalhealthrecord, phr, parents

About This Blog

Welcome to the Military Families’ PHR blog. Here, you’ll find practical tips for managing your medical information from those who have traveled the same path as you. These former service members and military spouses, all health information professionals, understand the unique challenges military families face. If you’ve wondered how to compile and ensure access to your family’s medical information across multiple time zones and through multiple moves, then you’re in the right place.

While the armed forces provide an enormous amount of structure and support, a PHR can both fill in the gaps and offer a sense of security. Taking control of your medical information is the first step to ensuring proper care, regardless of location.

Myni Vazquez, MS RHIA has more than seventeen years’ experience in Health Information Management. She has held positions ranging from director of medical records to practice manager, and has consulted for the Department of Defense. In the Education field since 2002, Myni is currently the program director of the Health Information Technology, Medical Billing Certificate, and Professional Coding programs at Central Arizona College online.

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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