ArticlesMaintaining Your Personal Health Record
Seniors: Keep Key Documents Handy
A personal health record is a documentation of your medical history and care. Although health care providers routinely keep such medical records, you can create your own record, and records for other family members.
Having copies of important test and screening results can save you money and time if you change doctors, and you can easily share records across health care providers and systems.
You can compile your medical record on paper or your computer, or via Internet-based services on which you can store and retrieve your health information.
To get started on your record, request copies of your medical records from all of your health care providers.
Include these in your record:
Personal identification, including name and birth date
Family members to contact in case of emergency
Names, addresses, and phone numbers of your personal care doctor and any specialists
Health insurance information
A list of current medications and dosages, as well as details regarding any supplements or herbal remedies you take
Allergies or sensitivities to drugs or materials, such as latex
Important events, dates, and hereditary conditions in your family history
Dates of significant illnesses and surgical procedures
Important test results
Family history listing the health status of immediate family members and the causes of death for deceased members
Living wills, advance directive, or medical power of attorney
Organ donor authorization
Bring your record to all doctor visits so you can remember to update it.