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AHIMA Launches New Interactive Web Site

Web site's content is now audience-specific, fosters feedback

CHICAGO, July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an emergency, immediate access to your vital health information can mean the difference between life and death. Personal health records (PHRs) often help ease the tension and uncertainty about your health and medical history especially during unexpected healthcare encounters. To increase its PHR public outreach, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) today launched the new Web site that will channel important health information to healthcare consumers, including the seven audience segments most inclined to embrace PHRs -- parents, students, seniors, caregivers, chronically ill, travelers and athletes.

"Being actively involved in your personal healthcare is paramount to sustaining and improving your health," said AHIMA Board President Vera Rulon, MS, RHIT, CCS. "The personal health record is a key to gaining control and improving your health. AHIMA's provides you with the tools you need to start and maintain your own PHR."

Typically, healthcare consumers who actively participate in their own care have better results. The seven populations highlighted on are more apt to quickly realize the benefits of PHRs in managing their health information and their healthcare. For this reason, content and resources on the new Web site have been created to specifically address their needs. Each audience segment features recent news and success stories on health-related topics that are pertinent to a specific community, frequently asked questions are now more relevant to each audience segment, and the helpful links tool has been customized for each audience section. Other new content includes:

  • Critical information on medical identity theft
  • Audience-specific blogs written by accredited health information management professionals
  • Blog commenting features for visitor interaction
  • News specific to PHRs and health information
  • Events calendar for nationwide health-related activities

"I truly enjoy visiting the Web site to check out the tools and resources, and to receive information related to privacy and PHRs," said Valerie J.M. Watzlaf, Ph.D., RHIA, FAHIMA, Associate Professor, Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Being an editor to the PHR blog gives Watzlaf another opportunity to educate others on information related to PHRs and to discuss issues about them. "It is a wonderful site and I am thrilled to be a part of it."

Regardless of what product is used to create PHRs -- paper or electronic files -- the ultimate goal is to properly build and regularly maintain them because PHRs can be a valuable communication tool between healthcare consumers and healthcare providers. Comprehensive PHRs that include a complete medical history and an accurate and updated patient profile -- including current prescriptions and over the counter medications, allergies, blood-type, chronic diseases, major illnesses and surgeries, tests results and dates, family history, and physicians' names and contact information -- can be essential to understand diagnoses, conditions and procedures.

Visit the new for information on creating and maintaining your own PHR. This Web site provides public education on privacy and security issues, free health forms, videos of personal PHR stories, glossary of terms, PHR products and services, and more.


The American Health Information Management Association is America's leading professional society whose mission is to "improve healthcare by advancing best practices and standards for health information management and [serve as] the trusted source for education, research and professional credentialing." AHIMA represents more than 53,000 specially educated HIM professionals who serve healthcare and the public by managing, analyzing and utilizing data vital for health system management.

SOURCE American Health Information Management Association
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