Site Meter Hackers™: Personal Health Records: What Are Your Options


Personal Health Records: What Are Your Options

Most of you have probably seen your chart when you visit your doctor's office. In fact, you may need to visit several doctors' offices and may have charts at all these offices. To keep track and maintain all this information it makes sense keeping your own records. So what kind of information goes into personal health records? Here's a list of possible information that could go into these records.

1. Your name, blood type, date of birth and emergency contact details.

2. The date you had your last physical.
3. The dates you had some tests and screenings on, as well as the results.
4. Major illnesses you have suffered with dates.
5. Any surgeries you may have had, with dates.
6. A list of medication you are on along with the duration you have taken them.
7. Any allergies that you may have.
8. Any chronic disease that you may have.
9. Medical history of your family members. 

One factor that distinguishes personal health records is the platform used to deliver it. There are various platforms such as paper, portable devices, the internet and personal computers. Let's look at some of these platforms.

Paper-based PHRs

Paper format is used to record and store your personal health information. This could be your printed laboratory records, any health history you may have created, and photo copies of notes provided by your clinic. The advantages of this method are that it is reliable, low cost and can be accessed without a computer. The disadvantage of using this method is that records may sometimes be difficult to update, share and locate. These records could get lost or damaged especially in times of a natural disaster.

PC-based PHRs

Personal computer- based software is used to record personal health information. This allows one to easily print, encrypt, and import data. Creating a backup also becomes easier as compared to paper-based records. Some PHR products can be easily copied on to mass-storage devices such as smart cards, USB flash drive and CD-ROMs. Data stored here could be lost if the personal computer is damaged.

Internet-based PHRs

A web browser can be used to access and edit health information. The advantage of using an internet-based system is that it can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. The PHR system can be interactive and data in such a system is not on the user's local machine but on a remote server. Backup becomes easier. However personal health records stored in this manner makes it easier for unauthorized people to access it.

By: david hess