Keep records of your past and present health conditions, including notes about exercise and dietary habits. Detail your health status to medical providers to identify the tests, lab work or procedures that are most likely to benefit you and not waste time or money. Track this information along with your appointment lists, medications, insurance claims and payment history.
You can keep this information in paper form, but you may want to consider automating your health records. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers a tool to help you Choose a PHR (personal health record) app to suit your needs and your style.
Protect Yourself from Fraud
Especially if using online apps to track your health, use caution before revealing financial, health or other personal information.
If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, file a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission’s Online Complaint Assistant and contact your local police.
My Personal Health Record
A personal health record lets you track health provider contact information, allergies and medications, personal medical history, family medical history and anything you do to stay healthy.
Use these steps to build a personal health record in an app or on paper.
- Gather information for each member of your household related to immunizations, chronic illnesses, recent laboratory tests, current height/weight/BMI and history of hospitalizations or surgeries. You may need to request this information from your health provider(s).
- Organize the health records for each household member including birthdate, contact information, emergency contacts, health care provider contact information and family history of diseases. For adults, identify existence of living wills, power-of-attorney, etc.
- Update information regularly.
Complete a record for each person in your household, for all types of health care (e.g., medical, dental, vision, etc.).