Medicare customers given personal health records

A new program within Medicare allows enrollees to create their own personal health record in an effort to keep their health history an internet password away.

The pilot program is currently in two states and, if successful, may grow to other areas in the near future, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Personal health records are different from electronic health records (EHRs), which has been one of the main elements of President-elect Barack Obama's health care reform plan.

Medicare customers given personal health records

The information in EHRs is handled by health care providers while personal health records are managed by patients, according to the article. Allergies, medications and lab results can be entered into the online records and can be shared with whoever the patient wants, from friends to doctors.

Currently, Hawaii and Utah are two states offering the service to patients.

"I applaud them for just getting started and for encouraging the beneficiaries to begin to understand their own health and begin to take some responsibility," Jan Root, executive director of the Utah Health Information Network, told the news provider.

This may be a good tool for some seniors who may sometimes experience difficulty recalling their past medications and ailments for a doctor.

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