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HIM1000 (Lewis): PHR - Prep and Research: Personal Health Record (PHR)

Library Research Guide to help students navigate the topic of PHRs.

What You Should Know about PHRs

PHRs generally contain information about treatment from many different providers and cover a long period. They may also contain information about the individual's diet, exercise, and extended family health history that may have bearing on the individual's own health. The following list suggests information useful to include in a PHR.

  • name, address, date of birth
  • health insurance information
  • names and telephone numbers of the individual's doctors
  • blood type
  • allergies, especially drug allergies and adverse reactions to drugs
  • current medications, including prescription drugs, overthe-counter drugs, herbal medicines, and other supplements; dosage of each item and length of time it has been taken.
  • family health history (e.g., hereditary diseases)
  • date of last physical
  • dates and results of medical tests and screenings
  • chronic illnesses
  • past major illnesses with dates
  • past surgeries with dates
  • vaccinations with dates
  • physical limitations (e.g., hard of hearing, vision impaired)
  • dietary limitations (e.g., vegetarian)
  • name and contact information for the person(s) to be notified in case of emergency
  • information about the presence of a health care directive or power of attorney and its location
  • exercise habits, dietary habits (e.g., alcohol use), personal habits (e.g., tobacco use)


Davidson, T. (2014). Personal Health Record (PHR). In B. Narins (Ed.), Consumer Health Care (Vol. 2, pp. 412-414). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Retrieved from


What You Should Know about EHRs

An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient's paper chart. It is prepared by the physician or another healthcare professional.   It contains a patient's medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results. In addition, EHRs contain information used in the treatment of a patient and are the property of the health care provider, although in the United States, patients have the legal right to obtain a copy of their EHR.