Dear Janie,

My daughters are growing up so quickly. Pretty soon they won’t be looking to me to take care of them so much and they’ll start make more decisions for themselves. How can using a PHR make it easier for me to help guide their lives and their choices in healthy directions?



Dear Gloria,

For your daughters, using a PHR will not seem like a “new” idea at all. They are coming of age at a time when most doctors are starting to share health records with their patients as a standard practice through use of a patient portal. They’ll never know what it was like not to have access to their health information through their phone. Your job is to teach them how to get and store their information, so they’ll have it for the future. Lessons about being responsible for yourself translate easily into lessons about being responsible for your health and care information. A PHR becomes a convenient tool to teach them how their decisions can have real health consequences. It’s an easier way to visualize history and the events that have transpired. It also becomes a great tool to help establish goals for the future. A “care plan” documents the things we need to do going forward so we will be healthy. A care plan could include educational health goals or plans for staying safe after the prom. A holistically oriented PHR can become your daughters’ dashboard for a healthy life. You can use it as a tool to have the right conversations over time. They can use it as they begin to navigate life choices for themselves. Janie Appleseed Network provides materials that help individuals think about using a PHR as a sort of “life clock” and a “wellness compass” at

Be well,


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