So what exactly is in a Personal Health Record (PHR)?
You won’t be surprised to know that the answer varies depending on who you ask. Let’s start by looking at what My Health Care Manager includes in its PHR.
We have identified 17 dimensions to examine as part of initializing a PHR. These are:
- Demographic: General demographic information including but not limited too the senior’s current living and marital status; accessibility to bathroom, bedroom, and laundry; and work/volunteer history.
- Family: Family members deceased and living. Family health history and availability.
- Social support: The family’s/friends’ level of support, communication techniques, and the senior’s engagement in social activities.
- Representatives/Key Contacts: Individuals that the senior has identified to have permission to health and/or financial information, including the level of information they may access and the manner in which the information can be shared.
- Financial: The senior’s perception of his/her financial needs and if additional assistance is required to support health or alleviate stress.
- Spiritual: The senior’s perception of his/her spiritual needs and level of comfort/peace with current health status.
- Legal: Arrangements for an individual to act on the senior’s behalf including the status and copies of the senior’s advance directives, funeral, and/or burial/cremation arrangements.
- Insurance: Current insurance information and identified gaps or needs for continued education.
- Support Services: Multiple service providers and the level of communication between the providers.
- Caregiver Support: The stress level and needs of the caregiver.
- Physical Health: The senior’s past medical history, treatment plans, and current health status - capturing chronic illnesses, chronic pain, incontinence, weight loss/gain, nutritional status, and sleep habits.
- Functional Health Status: The senior’s perception of and satisfaction with his/her health status while assessing the senior’s physical functional status including activities of daily living, balance, ambulation, assistive devices, and sensory status.
- Emotional/Psychological: The cognitive, emotional, and behavior status of the senior including screens for cognitive impairment, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and substance abuse.
- Medication History: Medications list, multiple providers, multiple pharmacies, allergies, polypharmacy, and medication administrative needs.
- Home/Residential Environmental & Safety Assessment: Visual assessment of the senior’s environment. Assessing fall risk, elder abuse, disaster plans, fire/burn prevention, crime/injury, injury prevention, communication system, and support network.
- Preventive Health Activities: Preventative recommendations and attending health screening activities.
- Wellness: The senior’s understanding of activities that promote improved health status such as wellness classes, tobacco use cessation, and/or intellectual stimulation.
This information can be gathered and assessed by an individual, a caregiver, or even a Health Care Manager. We use a 3 ring notebook to collect and organize this information so that it can easily be updated and kept current. The binder is easily taken along on medical provider appointments and is large enough to be difficult to misplace.