Most people don’t realize that it is unusual to find a complete record of all of their personal health information.  Our personal health information is not usually found in any single location or even in consistent format.   As we gather complete and accurate personal health information for our families and ourselves we create a personal health record or PHR.   This PHR is a resource that will help us take an active role in the quality of our health care.   It is important to gather and share this information with our health care providers to fill in the gaps that exist in our medical records.

Your personal health record (PHR) should be a collection of important information about your health (or the health of someone you are caring for) which you actively gather, maintain and update.  The information that your PHR should include (but is not limited to):

  • Personal identification (name, birth date and demographics) 
  • Emergency contacts 
  • Names and contact information of your physician, dentist, eye doctor, and any other specialists
  • Health insurance information
  • Living wills, advance directives, or medical power of attorney
  • List and dates of significant illnesses, injuries and surgical procedures
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Herbal supplements and pertinent dietary information
  • Drug allergies or sensitivity and other allergies 
  • Pertinent family history information
  • Important test results; eye and dental records
  • Organ donor authorization

Having access to your personal health information in an emergency can be critical.   Your emergency personal health record (ePHR) can provide lifesaving information necessary for your medical treatment.