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Seniors blog

Manage Your Relocation with a PHR
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez
 

Military families overcome numerous obstacles to support their service members. One of primary things that a military family must deal with is undergoing constant moves and deployments. No military marriage is complete without at least a half dozen moves. When the military says that it’s time to pack up and go, there is no option. It’s time and no buts about it. Families don’t specify the time frame, they do; it doesn’t matter what’s going on with the family (wedding, graduation, illness, etc…). Many times that means that everything may have to be done in a short time frame. The constant changes require service members and their families to adapt quickly. Once that relocation order is printed, we instinctively start separating from friends and families and start working on that dreaded relocation checklist. Trip planning, site packages, briefings, out processing, housing waiting list, etc… start occupying our days leading to that PCS.

I myself, an active military spouse of 14 years, have run down the relocation checklist over many times. As a matter of fact, today was my seventh time in anticipation of our May PCS. I’m trying to get ahead given the time period “complimented” to us. I was reviewing the 40-50 days to PCS section, which states “Take pets to veterinarian for required vaccinations and certificates, get copies of medical records.”

For a minute, my mind raced. You see, in September of last year I developed an acute autoimmune reaction which resulted in hospilization, specialized care and trips to numerous specialist in the local area as well as to the closet metropolitan area, which is over an hour drive. As a Health Information Manager and an active participant in my health, I have copies of almost all my records. I had started logging my medical information into a self created personal databank to form a type of family personal health record that includes all my children’s and my medical information and contact data.

But what about all those military families who are relocating and have a child diagnosed with a serious medical condition or a family member whose medical condition needs active management and coordination? Do these individuals wait to get to the next station or do they start coordinating care prior to a PCS move? What about obtaining all their medical information from specialists, etc… Do they really know how to manage their health information effectively?

Families who undergo constant moves and deployments all share the same battles. Thinking about it, I can’t recall one military move that did not require me to “hand carry” my medical record to the next military treatment facility. Yet neither the Department of Defense nor Tri-Care provides guidance on how to actively manage your information for a smooth transition to the next military treatment facility. This is an opportune time for you to go over your information and create a personal health record for you and your family.

Personal health records are the best tool any family can implement to lessen medical concerns, provide accessibility to information of quality care, and provide a tool for military members and their families to effectively manage their health and wellness, regardless of their 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.

Myni is a loving mother of two and a proud military wife.


Tags   Family, military, personalhealthrecord, phr


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

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