Personal Health Record

You may have health information in lots of places -- at home, or in doctor or hospital records. Personal health records (PHRs) are confidential, easy-to-use electronic tools that can help you manage your health information. PHRs may be an easier way for you to keep all your health information - like doctor or hospital visits, allergies, shots, or a list of your medicines - in one place.

Having a PHR can help you provide more complete information to your health care providers or family members. With all of your health information in one place, you may be able to avoid unnecessary procedures or tests. You may also be able to provide critical information about your health in a medical emergency. A PHR may help you save time and money, and improve the quality of care you get.

PHRs have other great features to help you manage your health information. You can add personal information like the following:
■ Allergies to food
■ Health conditions
■ Over-the-counter or herbal medications you’re taking
■ A list of your doctors and other health care providers
■ Emergency contacts

In addition to keeping all of your information in one place, some PHRs may also make it easier for you to do the following:
■ Order prescription refills online
■ Schedule appointments
■ Get helpful information on things that matter to you, like diabetes or high blood pressure

With a PHR, you control your information. Since you will have a unique user ID and password, only you will be able to view your record. Most companies that provide PHRs offer a secure site to protect and keep your information safe.

Health plans and most health care providers who offer PHRs must give you a Notice of Privacy Practices, which tells you how they keep your personal information private and safe. If you don't get a privacy notice, ask the health plan or provider for a copy, or check your PHR's Web site.

Read more at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

patient and doctor discussing a chart

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