Can you remember the date of your last tetanus shot? How about your reaction to the latest medication you tried? For many of us, the response to those questions would be a blank stare. These are just a couple of examples of where a personal health record would really come in handy.
You’re probably already familiar with medical records: The test results, appointment records, discharge paperwork, and all the other information your health providers track. A personal health record might include copies of some or all of this info, plus your own input to help you capture your health story in a way that’s personal and useful to you.
A personal health record is particularly important if you’re dealing with a chronic condition, like cancer or diabetes, but it can be useful even if you’re perfectly healthy. Here are some tips to get started:
Use tools to make the most of your time.
For a lot of us, our personal health story is scattered in a myriad of places: Post-its, binders, notebooks, text threads, EHRs – you name it. We designed Kith + Kin to help you avoid all that clutter, and be able to access your information from anywhere at any time. You can use the app to easily store, organize, update, and share any health info you’d like, from photos of medical documents to voice notes about condition flare-ups.
Start where you are.
You don’t have to capture everything all at once to be successful in creating your own health record. Start with just one thing, and build on it from there. Are you about to refill a prescription? Create a medication Smart Item in Kith + Kin and snap a pic of the bottle. Visiting the doctor? Create a Notebook and jot down the recommendations you want to remember.
Work with your providers.
Did you know: It’s your right to get a copy of your medical records any time you ask? Medical records can be an important part of your personal health story, and you can save PDFs directly to your profile on Kith + Kin. Alternatively, ask to snap a pic of your charts when you’re at the doctor’s office or hospital, or request a physical copy to take home with you.
Ask for help.
Even if you start small, compiling a personal health record may feel overwhelming, especially if you are managing multiple health conditions, provide care for others, or have a demanding job. Remember: There is no shame in asking for help! Reach out to your loved ones for support, no matter what that looks like. Maybe it’s asking someone to watch the kids, walk the dogs, or pick up some groceries, but sometimes, even the simple act of talking to someone about your struggles can be helpful.
And if you need help just knowing where to start with Kith + Kin, we’re here for you. You can talk to an actual human (without waiting on hold) by scheduling a concierge session with us. You’re not in this alone!
Check out these resources for even more helpful info:
How to get your health record (HealthIt)
Patient access playbook (AMA)
3 steps to building a personal medical record (Cancer.Net)