When I first started working on Google Health, I was shocked by how hard it is for people to access their own medical records. I wondered why that's the case when it's so easy to access other types of personal information like bank transactions, cell phone records, and utility bills. In many states you can even renew your car registration online with a few clicks. Yet when it comes to something arguably much more important, such as your own medical records or a current list of medications, we have little to no access. It just doesn't seem right.

We're working to solve this problem. With the recent addition of CVS/pharmacy to our network of pharmacy partners, more than 100 million people can now access their prescription history online and import it into a central, secure place — a Google Health Account. In addition to CVS, we're proud to be working with several other well-known national and regional pharmacy chains to improve patient safety, reduce medical errors, and increase efficiencies in health care.

Having a list of all your medications all in one place from the pharmacies you shop at helps your doctor, pharmacist and other care providers do a better job of taking care of you. In fact, it's estimated that 1.5 million Americans are sickened or injured each year by errors in prescribing, dispensing and/or taking medications. Some experts suggest that medication errors claim more than 7,000 lives each year. Making your medications known to those who care for you is a simple step to ensure you get the best possible care. Not to mention, imagine how important having immediate access to this information could be during an emergency.

To get started, first see if your pharmacy is connected with Google Health. If so, just sign up for an online account at your pharmacy's website, and then you can securely import your data into your Google Health account. Once your medication information is in Google Health, you can use our new sharing feature to share it with anyone in your care network, including family members, doctors, and other caregivers.

If you have pharmacy benefits through your employer or your health plan, you may also be able to import your prescription history into Google Health. We are working with two of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the nation, Medco and CVS Caremark, so check your wallet to see if you have a prescription drug card from either one of them today (see examples below). If you are a Medco or Caremark member, simply log in to your online Medco or Caremark account (or register for one if you don't already have an account set up) and then link your Google Health profile to it. If you are unsure if Caremark or Medco manages your pharmacy benefits, check your prescription drug card for one of their logos, or call the number on the back of your card.