Getting Started

Dear Janie,

My husband and I were a little older when we got married. Now we have an older son and 3 more children under the age of 4. I’m very busy being a mom and I still work part-time from home. It’s important that I staying organized with everything I’m responsible for. I’m basically healthy, but I did have appendicitis surgery during one pregnancy. Two of our little ones have managed to each break an arm (one required a surgical repair). My husband just took a new job, so he’s mostly focusing on getting acclimated and learning his new duties. He had a recent physical where the physician said he should try to focus more attention on doing wellness activities. Plus, his mom is a cancer survivor, so he has to remember about watching for that in the future.

Being the organized person that I am, I would really welcome a tool that helps me keep my familys’ health information neatly stored in one place. I could see it would be really helpful to be able to keep this information in a digital application. I would even like to store photos and digital memories for my children as they grow. I feel like using a PHR would make it faster and easier for me to keep all this information more organized, but I don’t know how to get started. What should I do first? How can I learn to use a PHR?


Getting Started

Dear Getting Started,

Wow, you do have a lot on your plate! There’s so much to be gained by using a PHR. Here’s my advice for getting started. Given how busy your life already is, take a very incremental approach.

First: Set your expectations to be realistic. You can do this best by aiming to learn a little bit at a time over a long period of time. Become a member of Janie Appleseed Network. It’s like enrolling in the University of Life. Joining our community is free and it gives you access to the kind of education and services you will need to stay on this path of building new PHR skills. Much of what you need to know will be gained “on the job” as mom and wife, with Janie Appleseed Network to support you.

Next: Get started in an area that seems most valuable or interesting to you. We have lots of short on-line courses you can attend and other learning aids you can use to build your 21st century health literacy skills. We also offer Janie Office Hours where you can “stop by” and ask questions about how Direct Secure Messaging works or other topics related to using a PHR. Here’s the link to register for office hours:

Thanks for sharing your story. I know there are many women, just like you, who are stretched pretty thin as they attempt to balance being a wife and mother and maintain a career. We look forward to showing you how to put a PHR to work for you so you can be more efficient with your time, learn the new skills you need, and use digital technology to keep your family’s lifetime of information more organized.

Be well,