Consumer Issues
New Guide Helps Consumers Understand Medical Records
Sep 11, 2012 - 2:04:12 PM

AHIMA announces new tool at ONC Consumer Health Summit

( - CHICAGO (Sept. 11, 2012) – A new guide will help consumers understand how to access and use their medical records.

Developed by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the nonprofit association representing Health Information Management (HIM) professionals, the new online guide called Understanding Your Medical Record posted to today. AHIMA launched the website as a resource for consumers interested in maintaining their own personal health records.

“Helping consumers understand the purpose of a medical record and how to access their clinical information will enhance the relationship between a patient and their doctor or healthcare provider,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE. “By having access to your record, you can play a more active role in your care and enhance the ability to partner with your provider. As health information managers, we make sure the information in your record is confidential, complete and correct. We want to help patients access their information so that they can take better care of themselves.”

Topics covered in the guide include:

What is a medical record?

Why are medical records important to me?

How can you access your medical record?

How can you change or correct your medical record?

How do you file a complaint?

What is a personal health record?

Are PHRs and medical records the same thing?

What should your PHR contain?

How do I compile my PHR?

What are patient portals?

Links to other resources

AHIMA Consumer Health Practice Council Co-Chair Marsha Dolan, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, announced the development of Understanding Your Medical Record as part of her remarks at the second Consumer Health Summit facilitated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

“AHIMA’s members -- health information management professionals -- are dedicated to making sure consumers can access their information and understand it,” said Dolan. “HIM professionals are committed to maintaining the integrity of consumer health data and making sure the information is confidential.”

The new guide is one of many tools available for consumers on Others include AHIMA’s Patient Bill of Rights and a variety of information related to the use of patient health records.



Representing more than 64,000 specially educated Health Information Management professionals in the United States and around the world, the American Health Information Management Association is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contributing to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA’s enduring goal is quality healthcare through quality information.


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