Knowing what a personal health record is and how to use it

In the U.S., patients have many legal rights mandated by federal law. You have the right to make your own healthcare decisions, the right to access your medical information and the right to manage access to your medical records by other parties. If you ever have questions or concerns about your official medical record or your personal health record, a staff member at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas will be happy to assist you.

Defining PHRs
Your personal health record is any electronic application that you can use to store and manage your medical information. PHRs keep your private information confidential in a secure location. Your PHR may contain a wide range of health information, including:

  • Your list of diagnosed conditions
  • Your allergies
  • Your immunization history
  • Your medication names and dosages
  • Your family medical history
  • Your history of major illnesses and operations
  • Lab reports and medical images
  • Consent and authorization forms
  • Physicians’ orders

Your own PHR may have information that differs from this list.

Understanding PHRs, EHRs and EMRs
Personal health records are often confused as being the same as electronic health records and electronic medical records. The purpose of an EHR is to allow various hospitals, clinics and imaging centers to share information with each other. Only authorized clinicians have access to a patient’s EHR.

EMRs are like the paper charts that doctor’s offices used to rely on. They are a digital version of the information and doctor’s notes for the office.

PHRs are different because they’re intended to be managed and used solely by the patient. PHRs can also include a broader variety of health information , depending on the patient’s individual needs.

Using your PHR
You may have a tethered or connected PHR, which is linked to your health insurer’s or healthcare provider’s electronic health record. Or, you may decide to create your own, standalone PHR on your personal computer.

Using your PHR is simple. Each time there is a change in your medical history, you can add the information to your records. You can also make notes about your progress regarding managing conditions, and you can choose to share this information with your healthcare providers in order to better inform your treatment plan.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is your partner in health. Our state-of-the-art hospital in Las Vegas offers a full range of medical services, including emergency care, stroke care and heart health services. If you’d like to request a physician referral, you can get in touch with a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

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