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New Year, New Beginnings: A Good Time To Start A PHR
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Valisha McFarlane

The start of a new year always brings new goals and resolutions.  But this year, I encourage you to join me in embarking on a new project – creating personal health records (PHR’s) for your family.  PHR’s help individuals take on more of an active role in their healthcare and can assist us in becoming more educated and empowered patients.  A PHR is a lifelong resource that can aid in making important decisions about one’s health and wellness.

When selecting the type and medium for a PHR, one has many choices.  I have found that in today’s environment, PHR’s may be offered by your hospital, physician, insurer, employer, pharmacy or a vendor.  Overall, select the method or product that will allow you to maintain the records and information needed to provide a comprehensive overview of your health and medical history.  Where I work, both the hospital (New York Presbyterian) and the physician practices (Weill Cornell Physicians Organization) offer a “my chart” feature which gives patients access to items such as discharge summaries, health and medication summaries and online appointment requests.

There are several things to keep in mind as you plan to develop a PHR:

  1. Will the information be automatically added to the PHR from other records or do I have the opportunity to delete, correct or add information?  Many times, physician or hospital-based PHR’s are read-only versions of your legal electronic health record.
  2. Who has ownership rights to the information entered?   Will it be used or sold for other purposes?
  3. Who can be granted access to the health record?
  4. How do I protect my private health data?
  5. Are there fees involved?

Use of a PHR can potentially maximize communication and collaboration with your child’s health care team.  Being a more empowered and educated caregiver will most likely lead to better health outcomes for your family.

Tags   personalhealthrecord, children, empoweredpatients, phr, family

About This Blog

Parents, welcome to the PHR blog where you can connect and communicate with health information management professionals and eventually other parents about managing your child’s healthcare. Have you ever been on your way to the doctor’s office with your child and wondered about the details – diagnosis, medications prescribed, vaccinations, etc. – of your last visit?

As a parent, you have so many responsibilities that it’s difficult to recall everything from day to day let alone last year. A personal health record can help ease your mind. This blog is a social network where you can interact with experts in the field to seek advice and tips for best practices in creating and maintaining your child’s personal health record and the best ways to use that information to play a more active role in their healthcare and simplify your life.

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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