MedicAlert Foundation Urges Patients to Create or Update their Personal Health Records during Patient Safety Awareness Week

 

(TURLOCK, Calif., March 6, 2013) – The 11th Annual Patient Safety Awareness Week takes place this week (March 3-9, 2013). Sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation, the week is designed to encourage hospital and healthcare organizations around the world to educate and engage patients. MedicAlert Foundation is urging people to take time during Patient Safety Awareness Week to create or update their personal health records.

“Many medical situations would not escalate to emergency status if patients took simple safety precautions, such as having easily accessible health records available,” says Andrew B. Wigglesworth, president and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation, the world’s leading nonprofit emergency medical identification and information organization. Members of MedicAlert Foundation are provided an EMIR® (Emergency Medical Information Record), a free personal health record platform which includes information about medical conditions, medications/dosages, allergies, implanted devices, advance directives, and special treatment instructions; along with personal contact information for family, friends and/or physicians.

EMIRs are a key component of MedicAlert Foundation’s trusted safety services. A staple of every MedicAlert membership, comprehensive EMIRs can be accessed by healthcare professionals and emergency responders in a moment’s notice, ensuring a patient’s most accurate and relevant medical information is communicated when it’s needed most.

MedicAlert Foundation encourages individuals, of all ages and stages of life, to have personal safety plans in place for themselves and their loved ones, and to make sure their plans include up-to-date personal health records.

MedicAlert Foundation guides its members in creating their EMIRs, which the organization maintains and provides to healthcare workers and emergency responders who call the 24/7 service number engraved on patients’ MedicAlert IDs. Medically-trained MedicAlert Foundation specialists relay crucial information – such as known allergies, medical conditions, and current medications and treatments – to professionals, giving them the insight they need to make quick, but educated, treatment decisions.

“Patient safety requires on-going commitment,” says Wigglesworth. “And having updated records is a crucial first step. We encourage those who have been putting off getting their medical information in order to use Patient Safety Awareness Week as their personal call to action.”

About MedicAlert Foundation:

Established in 1956, the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation pioneered the use of medical IDs and delivers the most dependable, responsive, intelligent and trusted Emergency Identification and Medical Information Network. MedicAlert provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a personal health record and a live 24/7 U.S.-based emergency response service. MedicAlert Foundation International medical IDs alert emergency personnel to a member’s primary health conditions, medications or implanted medical devices. In addition to its 24-hour emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation International also provides family and caregiver notification so that members can be reunited with their loved ones. For more information on MedicAlert Foundation, please visit: www.medicalert.org

Wednesday, March 6, 2013