New tool offers patients guidance on personal health records

A new online tool aims to help patients understand their electronic health information and improve their relationships with physicians.

Patients who understand electronic health records and know how to access them have better relationships with their doctors, according to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which has released a new online tool, “Understanding Your Medical Record," aimed at helping patients do just that.

“By having access to your record, you can play a more active role in your care and enhance the ability to partner with your provider,” says the nonprofit organization's chief executive officer, Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE. “We want to help patients access their information so they can take better care of themselves.”

The guide gives patients information about what constitutes a medical record, what records are important for them, how to access medical records, how to change or correct medical information, and how to compile a personal health record.

The guide appears on , a new Web site launched by AHIMA to serve as a resource for consumers interested in maintaining their own personal health records, or PHRs.

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