Yesterday, the U.S. Surgeon General released the new Family Health History – Electronic Health Record tool. This tool will build family health history profiles and allow you to send them to your physicians to help guide clinical decision-making. A number of the LAF LIVESTRONG Army members participated in the focus groups to review and provide feedback on this tool. The LAF will also provide access to this tool through our website.
This tool is an important first step in deploying electronic health records to guide evidence-based medicine. Many of us are aware that having a family history of certain diseases can increase your risk of developing that disease. But the Surgeon General felt that incorporating these histories as electronic health records in doctor visits will help guide medical decisions to improve healthy lifestyles and develop appropriate interventions. While not cancer-specific, this tool could provide your doctor with needed information about your individual risk for a number of diseases. And in the case of cancer, we know family history can be important in determining to get screened earlier for certain cancers such as breast or colorectal cancer.
This new tool is interoperable with other electronic health records and will support a platform to move into 21st Century medicine.