Health Information Management

Where can I find more information about the Surgeon General's revised family health history tool?

HIM-HIPAA Insider, January 20, 2009

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A: On January 13, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of a revised Internet-based family health history tool, "My Family Health Portrait," that will enable consumers to more easily share health history information, according to an HHS press release. The original tool launched in 2004. However, the newer version was developed according to standards based on HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt’s Initiative on Personalized Health Care. 

"Family history has always been an important part of good healthcare, but it has been underused," said Acting Surgeon General Steven Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service in the press release. "Today, with our growing knowledge of genetics, family history is becoming even more important. The new tool will help consumers and clinicians alike. It will also serve as a platform for developing new risk assessment software that will help in screening and prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions."

One of its many benefits of the tool is that it provides information that is EHR- and decision support–ready. The information that the tool generates can interface with EHRs and personal health records as well as clinical decision software.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation has already stated that it will link to the tool, and the National Cancer Institute has stated that it will host the tool, according to the press release.

Click here to view the press release. Click here to view the tool.



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