New Year 2013: Take five minutes to make your family safer

While it’s certainly cliché, this really is a great time of the year to “reset” a few things and make sure that each new year is just a little better than the last. Most of us have had a little time off to share food, games and conversations with family and friends --- I’ve had a fantastic time in particular with my daughter home from school and my son out on the mountain.

A brief break in very busy lives. Which makes it a good time to think about resolutions and changes, but also a little daunting to think about big changes knowing the chaos will return soon! So with that setup, my New Year’s offering to you is an easy win --- take just five minutes and make your family safer in 2013 than it was in 2012.

HealthVault is a free, online, worldwide service from Microsoft --- your family’s key health information in one, safe place that you control, and isn’t a front for advertisements or somebody selling your data. Perhaps most importantly it’s always available on your phone, tablet or browser --- ready to help your loved ones get the right care in any emergency situation.

Once you get started with HealthVault, it can help you in dozens of ways --- and connect easily to your doctors, pharmacies and labs to make sure the information is up to date. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves --- right now, just get those records started. It’s easy:

  1. Point your web browser at
  2. Enter emergency contact and health information for yourself and your family members.
  3. Print out information cards and put them in wallets, purses, backpacks, and glove compartments.
  4. Download a free application for your smartphone (iPhone / Android*** / Windows) so the information is always there too.

That’s it! We’ll even send you a reminder in a few months to review the information and make sure it’s still accurate. It’s hard to imagine a simpler, easier way to make your family safer in the coming year.

Please take a few minutes and get this done. You’ll feel great about it … and so will my team that works so hard all year to deliver this great service to the world. Thank you, and Happy New Year!


PS … a special plea to all my colleagues in the world of Health IT … too many of us preach the benefits of family-centered care and then ignore our own! This is a great time to fix that.

*** Note that for Android I’ve linked to iTriage, a great app that connects to your HealthVault record and includes a bunch of other great health tools. Once you’ve installed iTriage choose “My iTriage” then “My Health Records” to include your HealthVault information. iTriage is also available for the iPhone … it’s a great tool!