New guide helps consumers understand medical records

A new guide will help consumers understand how to access and use their medical records.

Developed by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the nonprofit association representing Health Information Management (HIM) professionals, the new online guide called “Understanding Your Medical Record” posted to Sept. 11. 

AHIMA launched the website as a resource for consumers interested in maintaining their own personal health records.

“Helping consumers understand the purpose of a medical record and how to access their clinical information will enhance the relationship between a patient and their doctor or healthcare provider,” said AHIMA chief executive officer Lynne Thomas Gordon. “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. As health information managers, we make sure the information in your record is confidential, complete and correct.  We want to help patients access their information so that they can take better care of themselves.”

Topics covered in the guide include:

* What is a medical record?

* Why are medical records important to me?

* How can you access your medical record?

* How can you change or correct your medical record?

* How do you file a complaint?

* What is a personal health record?

* Are PHRs and medical records the same thing?

* What should your PHR contain?

* How do I compile my PHR?

* What are patient portals?

* Links to other resources

— American Health Information Management Association