Since the inception of the program in 1966, the population of Medicare beneficiaries has grown steadily. Today, over 44 million Americans are enrolled in various Medicare plans.
Getting enrolled in the right Medicare plan is crucial for maintaining good healthcare. It all comes down to your past health and current medical issues. Keeping good records of your health is vital for obtaining the best healthcare possible.
Why Do You Need A Personal Health Record?
On any visit to the doctor’s office, you have most probably noticed the doctor or other medical staff taking notes during the course of your visit. These are the Electronic Medical Records they keep, which include the basic medical information, lab reports, vaccination records and other pertinent information they have collected while the patient was in their care.
There is also a larger patient footprint in the form of the general Electronic Health Records, which include your medical information from all the previous treatments you’ve received from different physicians. However, in case you switch to another city or state, the local healthcare provider can have difficulty accessing the EHRs. That is where the need for a Personal Health Record comes in.
What Does A PHR Contain?
While each Personal Health Record can have different information according to the patient’s medical history, it should include the following basic information:
- Emergency contact details
- Information of healthcare providers, including the names and contact details of primary and special physicians being consulted.
- Medical insurance information
- Detailed information regarding the name and dosage of any prescription drugs
- Details of all foods and drugs you are allergic to
- Complete medical history including any past chronic conditions, surgical procedures, and significant illnesses.
- Dates and details of doctor’s visits and any tests such as blood work, Pap tests, prostate exams, and mammograms.
- Detailed medical history of immediate family members.
- Information regarding advance directives and medical authorization such as organ donation and artificial prolonging of life.
- Lifestyle information such as personal health goals, specific dietary requirements, and amount of exercise.
It can be either digital or in the form of a written record. It must be maintained and regularly updated by you so that it has all the current information in case of an emergency.
Benefits of Having A PHR:
There are several significant benefits of having a Personal Health Record. An updated and comprehensive PHR can literally save your life!
In case of a medical emergency, the PHR can provide vital information that can be valuable to first responders. Because it lists your current medications, allergy information, and chronic medical conditions it can help the physicians provide better care for you.
Other benefits include more productive doctors’ visits, organized and convenient way of keeping track of different medical appointments, as well as ease in managing and monitoring your personal health.
Need More Help?
Contact your healthcare consultant or adviser. Medicare professionals can guide you regarding various aspects of Medicare health plans to help you get the best care for your needs.
Kenneth Kiker, CHC spent 49 years in the insurance industry before retiring in 2011 after working in United Healthcare’s Tucson office for 6 years specializing in their Medicare division. He continues to work with Medicare beneficiaries helping them with their Medicare coverage decisions. Ken achieved his Certified Health Consultant (CHC) designation in 1990 after attending The CHC School of Marketing at Purdue University and passing a series of national program exams. Email: email@example.com.