The child Personal Health Record(Blue Book)
About the child Personal Health Record (‘Blue Book’)
The child Personal Health Record or ‘Blue Book’ is an important resource for families.
The 'Blue Book' is produced by the NSW Ministry of Health, and is given to all parents in NSW after the birth of a baby.
It allows for documentation of a child’s health, illnesses, injuries, and growth and development as well as immunisations, and is designed and promoted to parents to be presented to every health professional their child sees.
What’s in the NSW ‘Blue Book’?
A copy of the NSW ‘Blue Book’ can be found here:
The ‘Blue Book’ is divided into 18 sections.
These sections include: a summary of routine health checks, information for parents about registering their baby’s birth, immunisations, regular health and development checks, useful contacts and websites, family health history, CPR chart. space to record injury or illnesses and growth charts.Top
Why is the child Personal Health Record used?
Monitoring of health, growth and development of children in early childhood is widely accepted and considered an important indicator of future health outcomes.
Monitoring and plotting a child’s early growth and development against population reference values allows the identification of abnormal trajectories, and can be an early indicator of abnormal development or the presence of specific diagnoses including failure-to-thrive, obesity or developmental delay.
Early professional intervention may correct the problem or allow for early treatment, potentially mitigating its impacts.
Child Personal Health Records have been adopted in many countries to provide a tracking and reporting system to improve the strength of communication between parents and professionals and promote collaborative partnerships.
The main functions of the child Personal Health Record in Australia are:
- To record a child’s developmental and medical history
- Be a communication tool between health professionals
- Improve parent knowledge of childhood health and illness
- Engage parents for health promotion and improve their satisfaction/confidence working with health professionals
- Improve health service utilisation
Parental knowledge and understanding of the presence or absence of developmental difficulties in their child can be crucial in alleviating parental stress or ensuring that problems are followed up effectively.
In NSW, the child Personal Health Record or the ‘Blue Book’ assists parents in conveying information about their child to a range of professionals, such as early childhood nurses, general practitioners, and early childhood teachers.
Top The role of GPs
The rationale of early identification of children with health, and developmental concerns is critical to enable successful outcomes and wellbeing of children and their families.
Child and Family Health nurses are primarily responsible for the provision of health and developmental screening to all children from 0-5 years; however, studies have shown a high drop off rate in ‘well child health’ visits after the first 12 months in NSW.
In contrast, it is known children and young people visit their GP often and therefore General Practitioners are well positioned to maintain child health and developmental surveillance in the preschool years and ensure early detection of developmental anomalies.
The child Personal Health Record around Australia
Child Personal Health Records are utilised right across Australia.
CPHR in other states
Top Further information
- The Blue Book is available in the following languages:
- Chinese (simplified and traditional)
- The following link is an information bulletin released by the NSW Ministry of Health outlining changes made in the most recent update of the Blue Book (2013) and providing guidance for health professionals in implementing the resource
Bailey, F., E. Murphy, et al. (1993). Personal health records helps improve child health. NSW Public Health Bulletin 4(8): 88
Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Child Health Record Literature Review. Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood development. Accessed 29/11/2015 from https://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/earlychildhood/mch/chr_lit_review.pdf
Hamilton, L. and Wyver, S (2012). Parental use and views of the child personal health record [online]. Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist 29(1):66-77.
NSW Kids and Families (issuing body.) & NSW Health (2015). My personal health record. [North Sydney, New South Wales] NSW Kids + Families. Accessed 29/11/2015 from http://www.kidsfamilies.health.nsw.gov.au/publications/child-personal-health-record-(blue-book)/
Panpanich, R. and P. Garner (2000). Growth monitoring in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev(2): CD001443.