A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of information about your health. It is different from an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR), which are owned and stored by your healthcare provider.
A PHR is a document that you are in charge of-one that you compile, update, and keep. It can simply be a folder full of papers, but people are increasingly turning to electronic personal health record systems. These store health information in a secure location online that you can access anytime
Why do I need one?
Anytime you move, switch healthcare providers, or seek medical treatment during a vacation, you will be asked to provide your health history. It can be difficult to remember all of this information. Having a PHR on hand means you know the answer when you are asked when your last tetanus shot was or the dosage of your medications.
PHRs can also save you in an emergency situation. Consider this example: If you were to experience a health emergency at work, or on a trip with friends, would your companions be able to answer questions about your health history and current healthcare provider? In a time of crisis, it can be difficult to remember important and potentially life-saving information; a PHR can do that work for you.