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Complicated Family Tree Further Complicates Family Health History Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Erin Jordan

Family medical history is one of the most important factors in determining your risks for cancer and other illnesses, but what happens when you aren't sure how it all fits together?

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Tags   chronicallyill, college, communication, ehr, electronichealthrecord, familyhistory, family, healthinformation, medicalhistory, phr, personalhealthrecord
Are You Health Literate? Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Maria Kovell

Take a short quiz to see if your health literacy is up to par.

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Tags   health literacy, medication, personalhealthrecord, phr
New Year, New Beginnings: A Good Time To Start A PHR Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Valisha McFarlane

The start of a new year always brings new goals and resolutions.  But this year, I encourage you to join me in embarking on a new project – creating personal health records (PHR’s) for your family.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, children, empoweredpatients, phr, family
Health for the Holidays Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Maria Kovell

Combating the overindulgent eats, drinks and habits of the holidays can be difficult. Near impossible, really. Even for the athlete or health nut, winter months can pose challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Tags   fitness, athletes, personalhealthrecord, healthinformation, phr
My Family Health Portrait website review Monday, December 13, 2010 | Valisha McFarlane

While reading an article for the bleeding disorders community, I came across a resource that I know you will find useful in building a personal health record for your child.

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Tags   parents, familyhistory, PHR, personalhealthrecord
Be a Powerful Patient! Tuesday, December 07, 2010 | Chris Matthies

About two years ago, my husband, Les, began having some puzzling physical symptoms.  He wasn’t feeling particularly ill but decided to see his primary care physician, just in case.

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Tags   phr, personalhealthrecord, family, healthadvocate
E-patients Wednesday, December 01, 2010 | Aniruddha Malpani

I am now seeing a new class of patients - the e-patients. (Many of these come from Pune and Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India!)

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Tags   travelers, personalhealthrecord, empoweredpatient, epatient
Now Reading: Impact of Health Literacy on Access and Use of a PHR Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | Ted Eytan

This is the first study to assess real-world use of an industry-leading patient portal (Kaiser Permanente’s My Health Manager) in a large, ethnically, culturally, socioeconomically, and educationally diverse sample of diabetes patients with a range of self-reported health literacy skills.

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Tags   health literacy, physicians, phr, personalhealthrecord
Serious apps for veterans' health records Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Craig Newmark

The Blue Button at MyHealthEVet.gov gives vets an easy way to download their health records. However, what’s needed is an easy way to view those records, to get ‘em to other doctors, and to add to those records.

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Tags   veterans, seniors, electronichealthrecord, personalhealthrecord, phr
Inspiration to Start a PHR Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Leah Grebner

The fact that you are visiting myPHR website indicates that something has piqued your interest in personal health records (PHR).  Perhaps, you are seeking the right inspiration for taking the next steps to create a PHR for yourself or a family member.  If that is the case, consider some of the following scenarios.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, fitness
An amazing tool at your fingertips Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Robert Caban

Patient portals have evolved quite a bit over the last few years. Many portals now offer patients the opportunity to interact with the doctor in a way that hasn’t occurred since doctors stopped making home visits. Personally, I have used my provider’s patient portal to access my records, check on results and even email my doctor. And he responded back to me within minutes! Minutes!

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Tags   technology, physicians, phr, personalhealthrecord
Personal Health Record Use is On the Rise Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Donna DuLong

A recent report states that Personal Health Record (PHR) usage is low, but has doubled in the past two years. The report was conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation, and found that one in 14 Americans say they have used a PHR. Even more important is that consumers with online access to their health information pay more attention to their health.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, seniors, chronicallyill
Dare Devil Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | Laura Heuer

My son who is active and allergic to antibiotics, latex and a host of other things took a tumble. And I mean a tumble!

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, emergency, parents
Tips for keeping a personal health record Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Laura Heuer

Six steps to a more helpful and complete PHR

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, emergency, parents
I Needed Help Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

One day Jake, our middle son, got strep throat. Usually, no big deal. Some antibiotics and you’re good to go. Not this time. Jake had a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic and the next one, and the next, and the next. The whirlwind began.

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Tags   phr, personalhealthrecord, parents, allergies
Thieves put my son's health at risk Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

A UK mother is missing her son's PHR because of medical identity theft. Chelsea Herron and her son Bailey had Bailey’s medical information stolen the old-fashioned way - by two criminals on the street.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, parents, privacy, security, identitytheft
Caregivers as Healthcare Advocates: Uses of the PHR Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Margo Corbett

Chances are you’ve gradually fallen into the role of caregiver for a loved one as their health deteriorates. You probably didn’t realize it was happening at first, but little-by-little you found yourself doing more and more and at some point said to yourself, “I’m not trained for this. I feel overwhelmed and inadequate.”

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medicalhistory, caregivers
I, caregiver: Keeping notes and a medical file helps Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Caregiver Juneita Johari recommends that caregivers learn to decipher doctor speak, start a file, and take notes when caring for an elderly or ill loved one.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, caregivers, medicalerrors
Staying Healthy While Traveling Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Go Nomad advises planning ahead for your trip. Plan for the unexpected and routine medical concerns by creating a PHR.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, emergency, travel
Seniors and Fitness: Enhancing your PHR Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Leann Reynolds

Vashon Athletic Club owner Kevin Allman, of Vashon, Wash., spends a majority of his time at the gym training senior citizens, which make up an healthy 30-40 percent of his clientele. Located on an island with a population of just over 10,000 residents and a median age range of 44 years old (Seattle’s median age range is 34), Vashon’s demographics have contributed to Allman becoming somewhat of an authority in training seniors.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medicalrecords, caregivers, seniors
Work with nurses to prevent hospital readmission Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Judith Figueroa, a 69-year-old New Yorker with multiple heath problems, once visited the ER almost every month. By working with Carolyn McCrea, RN, of Visiting Nurse Service, Figueroa hasn’t been back to the hospital as often.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, caregivers, seniors, chronicallyill
Personal Health Records Help Patients Manage Their Own Care Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

 One way in which seniors can take more control over their healthcare and help ensure they receive the most appropriate care is by using a personal health record (PHR).

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medication, seniors
Checklist: Prepare a PHR for Your Next Move Friday, April 09, 2010 | Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez

I am the mother of a toddler and a kindergartener. I recently started a patient-centric health record, which consists of aggregating documentation and information from several sources of healthcare.

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Tags   medicalhistory, personalhealthrecord, phr, parents
Health Literacy Cuts Costs, Increases Well-Being Tuesday, April 06, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Fifty-eight year old cancer patient Marty found himself drowning in a “scary sea of medical jargon” after a cancer diagnosis. He describes himself as well-educated, but struggled to understand his diagnosis and treatment.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, insurance, chronicallyill, healthliteracy
Caregiving and the Personal Health Record in 2010 Monday, April 05, 2010 | Ted Eytan

Earlier this week, I had the honor of co-presenting in front of the CEO’s of Kaiser Permanente and The Permanente Federation, at a regular Town Hall meeting, about the completion of the KP HealthConnect rollout across the United States.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, caregivers
PHRs and the Wii Generation Monday, April 05, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contains provisions to encourage the meaningful use of electronic medical records technology. Seniors are most likely  to use a PHR, but will this change as Millennials mature and as EHRs become more prevalent?

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, technology, parents, medicalrecords, electronichealthrecords, ehr
Include a Running Log in Your PHR Thursday, April 01, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Whether you’re training for a race or want to increase your run time or distance, include a running log in your PHR. Share it with your doctor to give him or her a more complete picture of your health and fitness level.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, athletes, runners
Manage Your Relocation with a PHR Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez

Military families overcome numerous obstacles to support their service members. One of primary things that a military family must deal with is undergoing constant moves and deployments.

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Tags   Family, military, personalhealthrecord, phr
EHRs, PHRs Lead to Smarter Care Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Did you know that up to one-third of treatments aren’t based on the latest research? Keeping a PHR, either on paper or online, allows doctors to examine a complete medical history and offer you the best chance for recovery or for management of a chronic illness.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, medicalhistory, electronichealthrecord, ehr, chronicallyill
PHRs Make Athletes Stronger, Fitter, Healthier Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Skyler Tanner

Imagine for a moment that you’re a strength and conditioning coach. If you’re already a coach this part isn’t going to be difficult. Now, say you have a new client coming in for a consultation and this client has noted that they’ve had “injuries” in the past. When he or she shows up, you’d expect a detailed explanation of their problem.. However, so often in our position as coach a new client comes in and can’t offer specifics about their health history. How frustrating is that?

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Tags   medicalhistory, personalhealthrecord, phr, athletes
Give Your Parents Peace of Mind Monday, March 22, 2010 | Derek Allen

As an incoming university freshman, I got my first taste of the real word, and it was bittersweet. My mind was focused on finding classes, highlighting textbooks, and making new friends. Everyone tells you college is hard work and you are going to have to study your butt off. However, no one tells you about all the other stuff, the real world stuff. I didn’t know how to manage my finances, time, and health.

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Tags   college, familyhistory, personalhealthrecord, phr, technology, parents, students
PHRs Help Kids Achieve Their Goals Through Optimal Health Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

To Dr. Ted Eytan, PHRs help children and adults achieve their life goals through optimal health.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, parents
Track Your Fitness Goals Through Social Media Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

No matter the format, a PHR can keep you accountable for recording and updating your health information. But what about everyday health concerns, such as fitness and weight loss?

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, athletes, socialmedia
A Trip for the Records Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Cheryl McEvoy, editorial assistant for ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals, recently returned from a trip to Nicaragua.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, access, travelers, electronichealthrecord, ehr
Aging with Grace - PHRs for Caregivers Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Senior health expert Patricia Grace discusses how caregivers can use a PHR to improve elder care.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, caregivers
Your Family Member's PHR Wednesday, March 03, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

This personal health record is designed to help you keep your family member's medical information organized in one place. It includes space for you to write in information about your family member's medical conditions and treatments.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medication, caregivers
Boomers lead on personal health records Monday, March 01, 2010 | Sarah Dietze

Think PHRs are only for the young? Think again. Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and the Veterans Administration confirmed that the 50-65 crowd is most likely to use a PHR.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, communication, seniors
Think outside the box! Monday, February 08, 2010 | Cindy Boester

When it comes to creating your Personal Health Record (PHR), remember that it’s more than just the medical information you gather from your primary doctor or hospital. Think of all the other things that impact your well being. 

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, seniors, wellbeing, exercise
Racing for Life: PHRs Help Athletes Cross the Finish Line Monday, January 25, 2010 | Margie Kelly

You pushed yourself during the 10K race and your core body temperature surged.  You’re delirious, in the medical tent and no one knows your name much less your medical history or how to reach your family members.  You have Bib #153 with no personal information for race administrators to begin the identification process.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, emergency, medicalhistory, athletes, runners
Parents in healthcare's driver seat Wednesday, January 06, 2010 | Robert Caban

In less than a decade, technology has made information widely accessible--Information that in years past only a privileged and select few had access to. This has opened the doors to nearly everyone in America to make informed decisions about their health care.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, technology, access, parents, healthinformation, phi
Organize Personal Health Information Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | Sarah Dietze

As a professional organizer, I am frequently called on to help folks sort through their papers and develop systems to organize their files.  I find that people have files with extensive information on the care and maintenance of their homes and cars, and no file on the care and maintenance of themselves. As part of their organizing project, I encourage them to develop a file for their medical histories and pertinent medical information.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, organization
It was just dinner! Monday, September 28, 2009 | Julie Wolter

My Church held a fellowship dinner last night to kick off our 80th year celebration.  It was a wonderful night of music, good food, and friends.  My husband and I were able to spend some time with a couple we had not talked to in a while.  It was great catching up and hearing about her ministry in Mozambique.  She had just returned about a month ago from her latest visit.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, medication, travelers
Enjoying Fall Colors Friday, September 25, 2009 | Julie Wolter

I love taking a drive in the Fall to see all the beautiful colors.  Many years ago I traveled with my family to Vermont and New Hampshire to enjoy the Fall colors.  It was spectacular!  Every color was so vivid and everywhere I looked I was in awe.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, travelers, emergency
Asking for copies of your medical records Monday, August 31, 2009 | Cindy Boester

It’s OK to ask for copies of your medical records! 

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medicalrecords, caregivers, seniors, HIPAA
What can I use? Monday, August 10, 2009 | Julie Wolter

There are many ways you can carry your PHR when you travel.  I travel with a paper document.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, electronichealthrecord, ehr, travelers
The best gift I could ever give Sunday, August 09, 2009 | Julie Wolter

I have been blessed to be the mom of 3 boys, or should I say 3 young men. Two are in college and one will be a junior in high school. I, like many moms, documented their milestones the first few years of their life in their baby books.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, parents, college, familyhistory
Why a Personal Health Record is a Gift to your Family Wednesday, August 05, 2009 | Heidi Shaffer

My mother is close to celebrating her 90th birthday. Up until 8 years ago, she led a very active on-the-go life, traveling from one part of the country to another, visiting her four children as often as possible.  We took her apparent good health for granted, especially since the four of us are healthy as well.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, familyhistory, medicalhistory
There when I needed it! Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | Julie Wolter

It was a beautiful day to travel.  We started early so we could get there and enjoy as much of the daylight as possible.  Unfortunately, that did not occur.  I started feeling my world spin during the drive.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, emergency, travelers, vertigo
Sending my son to college...with a personal health record Wednesday, July 01, 2009 | Colleen Goethals

Last summer was my first experience with sending a child off to college.  As I sat through the college parent orientation, I noticed that not much was mentioned about health care.  My son’s college is a small college and does not have a student health service department.  My anxiety started to grow as I began to think about what will happen if he has to go to the doctor or hospital.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, parents, college, healthcare
How can a PHR help me care for my family? Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | Margaret Hennings

How can a PHR help me or my family?  Why would I want to take the time to gather all this information? 

In the same way a gardener will keep track of where to buy their favorite flowers or who has the biggest selection or best prices, a PHR can help you keep track of physician information such as phone numbers, appointment dates, specialty, etc.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medication
How could keeping a PHR be similar to gardening? Tuesday, June 09, 2009 | Margaret Hennings

Planting the seeds of knowledge for care now and in the future.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medication, caregivers
Visiting with my 81-year-young mother in her golden years Friday, June 05, 2009 | Marsha Dolan

The other day I was visiting with my 81-years-young mother. Like many others her age, she has a few chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes and some short-term memory loss. Recently, she also had to start using insulin to control her diabetes. She and my father spend a significant amount of time driving to and from doctor appointments and trying to deal with insurance and medications and testing. She expressed her feelings of frustration when she said, “our golden years aren't so golden anymore.” 

Maybe you also have that same thought or have expressed that same feeling to someone you love.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, aging
You may already have a PHR and don't know it Wednesday, June 03, 2009 | Robert Caban

Maybe you didn’t realize it, but if you keep records of your immunizations, then you’ve actually started a Personal Health Record. And if you’re like many parents I know, you have a file somewhere that you keep these records for yourself and your children.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, medicalrecords, parents, immunization
Proceed to the finish line with your PHR Wednesday, June 03, 2009 | Valerie Watzlaf

Running is one of my favorite sports. For years I have documented specific types of information related to running in many different and dilapidated running notebooks. Number of miles, type of running surface, time to run a certain distance, and pulse rate (during and after running), are just some of the data collected.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, chronicallyill, athletes, running, diabetes
Why should you travel with a personal health record? Thursday, May 28, 2009 | Julie Wolter

My husband and I have decided that we would like to travel once we retire.  There are so many places we would like to see. For right now, we enjoy summer vacations with our three boys. Each year we pick a new destination that sounds like fun.

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Tags   personalhealthrecord, phr, healthinformation, travelers

About This Blog

PHRs are still fairly new to the healthcare system, and we understand that as healthcare consumers, you have questions about the benefits and risks of keeping a PHR. The myPHR blog connects you with patient advocates and health information management professionals for tips and advice on creating and maintaining your own PHR.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan

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PHRs do more than manage medication. Stay up to date with information that can help you communicate with your doctor and stay out of the hospital.

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