The Importance of Personal Health Records

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A recent study showed that there is one more way each of us can make an impact on the whole world. If we keep our health records, or PHR, a bit more carefully and correctly, we could help save a great amount of dollars! The discovery of the researchers at Partners Healthcare System in Boston says that if interoperable PHRs were provided to 80% of the population of the US it could run to over $3.5 billion at the start and about $2 billion every year on maintenance. The Center for Information Technology Leadership report states that the US healthcare industry could avoid spending from $15 to $20 billion a year (and maybe more) by free dissemination of personal health records.

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When you come to think of it, your information about the state of your health lies in bits and pieces in many different places including some online resources. If you update the information regularly, see to it that it is correct and can be easily accessed, that is, you are professional in recording your health data, you help maintaining your health and, accidentally, that of your family. Also important is the record of your medical consultations which is a good addendum to the health history. Health experts can get a lot of information from it concerning the selection of the appropriate personal health records – a somewhat risky matter.

Personal health records can include any information about your health, especially information that your doctor may not have, such as your exercise routines, hereditary illnesses in your family or changes in your dietary habits. It is important to be aware that since personal health records are not part of a provider’s electronic health record, they are not considered to be legal records, and therefore, are not covered by HIPAA.

The fact is the personal health records may contain some pieces of information regarding your health that remain outside your doctor’s scope, for example, exercising habits, changes in your diet or even hereditary health problems. Besides, the personal health records are not included in a provider’s electronic health record, not being looked upon as legal, and consequently are not found in HIPAA.

The Ways Personal Health Records Change Your Life

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You can use the personal health records as background information in consultations with healthcare providers as well as keep it is a personal reference to enable your family get information about your state of health. There are procedures which can be abolished through the use of the personal health records thereby saving healthcare money and freeing some of the provider’s time. What can you do with your personal health records?

  • Consult your healthcare provider armed with full details
  • Feed new caregivers with relevant information quickly
  • When away from home, access your health data at any time
  • Have free access to the information even when your doctor is not available
  • Set health goals and record every step of the way towards them
  • Include medical references, prescriptions, medicines, insurance claims, information about allergic reactions and much more
  • Keep track and details of doctors’ appointments, vaccinations, any necessary healthcare procedures and services

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