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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? How do we dictate who gets to be on the family tree, and where do we draw the lines?

As demonstrated by the article, “Who’s on the family tree? Now It’s Complicated,” the modern family is comprised of sperm donors, surrogate mothers and other deviations from the past traditional family that can complicate the tree. How do we get to the root of our family medical history and work towards understanding our risks?

Although we may feel some of those people do not belong on our emotional family tree, they may have a very important place on our medical tree. Family history can be extremely complicated, both emotionally and physically. However, it is important to understand the history of all of our blood relatives, regardless of their “title” in the family to ensure we understand our risks and can work against them for better personal health all around. A PHR (personal health record) is one important tool we can use to better keep track of and understand our personal health and family history to create the healthiest ‘family tree’ possible, no matter whom that might include.

Tags   chronicallyill, college, communication, ehr, electronichealthrecord, familyhistory, family, healthinformation, medicalhistory, phr, personalhealthrecord

About This Blog

Parents, welcome to the PHR blog where you can connect and communicate with health information management professionals and eventually other parents about managing your child’s healthcare. Have you ever been on your way to the doctor’s office with your child and wondered about the details – diagnosis, medications prescribed, vaccinations, etc. – of your last visit?

As a parent, you have so many responsibilities that it’s difficult to recall everything from day to day let alone last year. A personal health record can help ease your mind. This blog is a social network where you can interact with experts in the field to seek advice and tips for best practices in creating and maintaining your child’s personal health record and the best ways to use that information to play a more active role in their healthcare and simplify your life.

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


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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