Have you ever though about a personal health record (PHR) or PHR benefits? Looking after your health is something you would eagerly consider. No one can maintain a perfect state of health at all times. But, thanks to preventive care and timely treatments that help you to improve your well-being. Every time you get into any illness, you seek medical attention, meet a physician or health care provider, perform blood work or x-rays, and take medications. Over time, we can gather a lot of information about personal health.
Technology has allowed you to pay more attention to different aspects of your health and the from a different perspective. You are conscious about the decisions affecting your health and interested in improving your health. You are well-aware of how effective certain treatments are. And you are no longer hesitant to become active participants when it comes to our medical care. Today, we can take advantage of modern technology and manage our personal health through electronic means. You are in control of our health and the decisions involving it. We can keep records of the medication we have taken. We can record the procedures we underwent and the conditions we suffered from.
Your Personal Health Record is not just the medication and conditions you have felt, more now than ever. It should also consist of your day-to-day activities, nutritional habits, and therapies you may have engaged in. All of this data, when combined, is what accurately predicts the state of your health and wellbeing. This also helps you learn more about how to prevent disease rather than just controlling it. A personal health record helps you go from a state of “sick care” to actual health care practiced through self-care.
What is a Personal Health Record or PHR?
In the simplest of terms, a personal health record or PHR (sometimes also referred to as a patient portal provided by healthcare providers) is a system where we gather all of the information related to our health. Personal health record helps you continuously collect information about your health and store them securely over your lifetime. It can be accessed through the internet, offering a comprehensive view of our medical and family history. The record will include information on symptoms or complaints you have experienced. Or they might have data collected from other apps or devices or coming from various healthcare specialists. (R)
A personal health record might contain health information extracted from an electronic medical record or electronic health record from your healthcare provider. This data can be either partial or complete. Personal health record makes you the manager of your own health information and gives you the ability to monitor your health information actively.
With all of the medical information stored in one, it will be easy to identify health risks and solutions for improving our health. Using the health-related data, we have a wide range of other benefits, including the fact that we can establish a complex medical care plan and pursue early intervention.
Why you need a personal health record, and how to do it?
When it comes to PHR benefits, we have to think that such a system will allow us to access our health-related data whenever we need to. Moreover, we can rely on it to coordinate such information and share the contents with different healthcare providers. As a result, we can improve communication with the specialists treating us, reaching more effective treatment solutions. Therefore, it is a patient-focused health record, and it gives you several reasons to adopt one. Let’s discuss some of the most important reasons why you should have a personal health record below.
First and foremost, you can take the electronic personal health record anywhere. It is simple to bring up-to-date, has a user-friendly and intuitive interface, and is quite simple to share your medical information. You can export it from the app/system, transmitting it to the concerned specialists. It is secured, so you do not have to worry about being accessed by others. Engaged patients usually have a personal health record. Therefore, you are responsible for maintaining a personal health record. Even though creating a PHR takes time and effort, it will help you to pay more attention to your medical care (and how safe or effective it is).
Organization and easy access
The personal health record delivers an accurate picture of your personal and family health, allowing you to be in control of your well-being and stay organized. You can access it whenever necessary, without having to go to the doctor’s office, especially in case of medical emergencies. Moreover, you can record your progress concerning any health-related goals you might have established. (R)
Informed decision making
You will become an active participant in any healthcare decision, feeling empowered to discuss procedures, diagnoses, and treatments with various healthcare specialists. You can coordinate an intervention plan as well. If you are meeting with a new doctor, you can offer all your medical information instantly.
While most of us can recall procedures and treatments we have pursued, we do not have the ability to remember all of the details related to these. With a personal health record, you will no longer have to rely on memory to recall which medication was recommended to you (dosage and frequency), all of the medical procedures you underwent and the entire family health history. Since real-time updates keep the PHR up to date, the personal health information is accurate. PHR has inbuilt features to ensure privacy and security; hence you do not have to worry about privacy breaches.
Creating a personal health record and PHR Benefits
The first thing you need to do is get your medical records from your general practitioner or other physicians involved in your care. You can then review these records and compile them into a personal health record. For this purpose, you can use the template offered by the online software or app. You might feel creating personal health difficult at first. But with time, you will get the hang of things.
Be sure to include not only your medical records and health history but also your family history. For instance, if one of your parents suffers from diabetes or heart disease, this is important to record. While compiling your medical history, you might want to talk to your doctor about the kind of information that should be in the PHR.
Meanwhile, you can download a personal health record app and follow the guidelines coming along with the application. Such apps are available for mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. You can use them on any smartphone, including the iPhone. As you will see, many health apps allow you to record health-related records, very much like a PHR. The Google Health service might be of use in this department, and there is an associated app to consider. Google had a PHR of a sort but is now discontinued.
What to record in a personal health record?
When you decide to create a personal health record, You should first organize a list with all the information to be included.
These are some of the things one should include in a PHR
- Name and date of birth
- Blood type – in case of emergency blood transfusions, knowing your blood type could make the difference between life and death
- Last physical examination or annual checkup – this will also serve as a reminder for when the next one should take place.
- Medical conditions both acute and chronic, along with symptoms experienced – when they were first diagnosed, the causes, etc.
- Treatments recommended and taken for the said medical conditions, including medication, therapies, alternative medicine, natural remedies, etc.
- In the case of medication, organize a list with every drug you have taken – dosage, frequency, and treatment duration.
- Mention if there are any drugs you are not allowed to take
- Diagnoses, screenings and test results provided by different healthcare specialists
- A complete history of past immunizations
- Allergies – mention specifically the allergens and the severity of the allergic attack (for instance, use of an epi-pen due to anaphylaxis risk)
- Procedures you underwent, including minor and major surgery – for which medical problem was the procedure recommended, the outcome, etc.
- Comprehensive medical care plans – for chronic conditions or terminally-ill patients
- In case of recurring health problems, note the dates and circumstances in which flare-ups have occurred (and how many hospital trips they required)
- Family history – include conditions with a genetic risk, as this will facilitate preventative care.
- Medical bills and insurance claims.
- Therapies you may have undergone such as CBT or physiotherapy (R)
What is the best personal health record solution?
Well, no solution is necessarily the best, and there are different delivery platforms available. The traditional approach involves gathering physical documents and organizing them in accordance with various preferences. While this method is free and accessible, it can be difficult to share the data with diverse physicians, and there is also a high risk of loss or damage to the said documents.
You can use a personal health record app or personal health record software for the same purpose, and they represent more effective solutions. Besides the fact that you can gather all of your medical information in one place and share it with your physician, there are other sophisticated features. For instance, all of the health data is encrypted and protected, and you can always import data from other applications.
How can the CareClinic health app offer a PHR benefit?
CareClinic is a one-stop personal health app, which can be your PHR. The CareClinic app offers numerous useful features to help you maintain a personal health record. You can use it to record most of your health-related data in a similar system. Create a self-care plan, add your medications and supplements, track your diet and physical activities, and any therapies you receive using the app. You can even set your healthcare team that manages your health. Add your physician, RN and family members to keep them in the loop of healthcare. Hence, the CareClinic app serves as an effective and easy alternative to a PHR.
The first thing that you need to do is create an account within the application. Of course, there is also an available web version, which includes similar features. Now, you can begin adding information about your health.
The diary entry feature lets you make entries about your daily life. Use the app’s diary entry feature to track day-to-day activities or events you encounter. You can also add measurements related to your health, such as blood pressure, blood glucose, weight, height, thyroid hormone values, etc. You can also add health measurements, such as tracking blood pressure, blood glucose, weight, height, thyroid hormone values, etc. and add medical conditions you suffer from into the application and connect them to your care plan.
The symptom tracker lets you add symptoms you are experiencing with various medical conditions you are suffering from. You can start tracking your symptoms since the day you had it for the first time. If you record them even before seeking medical attention, you can compare how well the treatment relieves your symptoms after visiting the doctor’s office. This helps monitor your health status and seek prompt medical attention during the disease-related symptoms, which otherwise might lead to complications. It doesn’t matter whether you suffer from a single medical condition or several. You can add them to the application and connect them to your care plan.
CareClinic offers a nutrition tracker, which helps you maintain your diet log. You should keep track of your food to ensure adequate intake of nutrition for your wellbeing. Meanwhile, this nutrition tracker will also help identify your cravings and help you manage them. If you have a specific diet to change your food habit, you can follow your diet and reflect on how you can live a healthy life.
It is difficult to remember and recall all of the details related to procedures and treatments you have pursued. With the CareClinic app as your personal health record, you can rely on the app to record and retrieve all procedures, treatments and medications recommended to you. Maybe you are seeing a family physician or undergoing surgery – you can record all of your appointments and therapies so that you never forget something. You can create an entire care plan to include all of the treatments you have pursued.
Pill Tracker & Reminder
Medications are important. Never forget your pills – let it be your multi-vitamins or any prescription medication. Please leave it to the CareClinic app. Get reminders before you run out of your medication. You can have a look at our blog article on pill tracking. Keep in mind that this application can also generate reminders for doctor appointments and organize an entire care team to help you with your medical needs.
Use the activities feature of the CareClinic app to track all activities you do. This activity tracker lets you figure out any actions that worsen or relieve your moods and symptoms. You can look back to see if there are any correlations between your symptoms and any activity you may have participated in. You can review your activities to make sure that you are leading an active lifestyle.
Reports are another great feature in the CareClinic app. You can use the application to store health-related data. The recommendation is to enter information regularly. The CareClinic app will generate records based on your entries. They can provide a lot of perception into your lifestyle. CareClinic’s reports consider your logs in its other sections. Your entries in the diary, nutrition, activities, symptoms sections will help to generate reports. The data associations between those entries. This connection would be helpful to learn more about yourself and your disease-related changes. These reports provide a clearer picture of your health status and treatment. They will help you and your physician explore appropriate treatment solutions.
How to share personal health record with caregivers and doctors?
You might have experienced difficulties carrying stacks of medical reports from one physician to the others. Modern technology has offered you easy access to your health records. Now, with the electronic PHR, any specialist can access all of your health-related information during your visit.
How to reap the PHR benefits? Choosing a standard personal health record or the CareClinic health diary app would let you export your health-related data and share it with your physicians, caregivers, and other interested parties. For example, the CareClinic health app generates monthly reports. You can either print it or share it from the app itself. This is just one of how a PHR benefits you. When necessary, you can export it as a PDF document and use it for the same purpose. It will contain all of the key health information. The PHR allows the doctor to review your medical and family history and improve your current treatment plan.
Are you wondering “how to maintain my health records?” Go ahead, download the CareClinic app today from the Google Playstore or Apple App Store for free. Store and be in control of your personal health information.