A Good Family History

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Introduction

Welcome to the A Good Family History website for individuals. This system is intended to allow a collaboration between you, your family and your health care providers to generate and document the best family history possible.

A good pedigree or family history, for the purposes of health care, is not one of royalty or where everyone is rich and famous but one where the most complete and accurate information is available. This will allow the best assessment of potential health risks for various family members.

The intention of this Web 2.0 application is that by participation of as many members of your family as possible, and their health care providers, the most accurate and specific information can be entered. For example, if one of your family members had cancer, the risk to you strongly depends on the type of cancer. Since advanced cancer will spread throughout the body it is common for the location where the cancer is that results in a family member's death to be quite distant from the origin, and therfore type, of cancer. Sometimes you only know the location the cancer was at the end. Your relative's oncologist is most likely to know the specific type or origin of the cancer. Your relative's spouse, siblings, or children are also very likely to know the type. Cousins, nieces, nephews, etc. are less likely and so so forth as the relationship gets more distant. Since any of your relatives and health care providers can potentially participate in storing your family history information the person most informed has the potential to contribute what they know. Since some families are not comfortable talking about such things it can just be directly entered by each individual.

Although the more communication within the family the better, having the accurate information available about your family is the essential element for your health care providers to assess risks.

So how do you get started? First you must register for an account. If you are going to enter information about your personal family you would register for an individual account. If, however, you are a health care provider and planning to enter information about your patients or clients, then register for a provider account. If you are already registered, just login by entering your user ID and password in the upper right corner of the window then get busy.


Development of this site has been partially supported by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality .