My Sanford Chart allows you secure online access to your personal health information and your child's health information. It's available anywhere you have internet access. There is no cost to you and registering is quick and simple.
It's a good idea to keep copies of your medical records.
You'll need them if you change doctors, move, get sick when you're away from home, or end up in an emergency room. If any of these things happen and you have your records, you may get treatment more quickly, and it will be safer.
You can write a short summary of this information and keep a copy in your files and in your wallet or purse. You also can keep this information on a portable storage device for computers. Be sure that someone you trust also knows where you keep it.
To get started, call your family doctor and ask for your records, or wait until your next visit. Ask your doctor if he or she can help you make a personal health record. Your family doctor also may be able to help you find other places where you may have medical records, such as at a hospital.
You'll need to sign a release form. In fact, you may need to sign one at every facility that you request records from.
You also may be asked to pay for copies of your records and the time it takes to make copies. And you also may be charged for mailing fees. Ask how long it will take to receive your copies.
Here's a tip that might save you time and money: be specific about the records you want. Otherwise, the hospital or doctor's office might simply copy every single item in your file—and charge you for all of it. A smaller group of records might be cheaper and also easier to organize.
After you have your information, you need to organize it. Here are some ideas.
Use a 3-ring binder or wire-bound notebook with dividers for each member of the family. If you get a notebook with pockets, you can keep test results and other health papers in these pockets.
Use any software program you're comfortable with, or get software specifically for personal medical records.
Another option is to store your health records on a secure Internet site. Your health plan or hospital may have one that you can use for free.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) sponsors an Internet site where you can search for paper-based, software-based, and Internet-based personal health record systems. Go to www.myphr.com.
Your medical records should include:
Current health information includes:
Keep records of:
Keep records of major health problems in your family, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, or diabetes. To keep track of your family health history, use this form(What is a PDF document?) or go to the Surgeon General's family health portrait website at www.hhs.gov/familyhistory.
Always carry these with you:
|U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: HealthIT.gov|
|200 Independence Avenue SW|
|Washington, DC 20201|
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has tips about technology and health care on this HealthIT.gov website. You can find information about electronic health records, protecting your privacy and security, patient portals, and more.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Last Revised||August 13, 2012|
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