Patients & Families

Tools to Help Consumers to Get Involved in Your Healthcare

The Tennessee Health Information Management Association (THIMA), as a component association of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), encourages consumers of health care to become engaged in your care.

We have provided links to several resources- some being Tennessee specific and others being at the national level. It is our hope that these resources aid you, the consumer, in making informed choices during the health care decision-making process.

Family Health and Wellness

The Tennessee Department of Health has many resources listed as they related to Maternal and Child Health, Special Supplemental Nutrition, and Chronic Disease and Health Promotion programs. Please visit the Family Health and Wellness web page for additional information.

Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce Records

The Tennessee Office of Vital Records reviews, registers, amends, issues and maintains the original certificates of births, deaths, marriages and divorces that occur in Tennessee. For more information please visit the Office of Vital Records web page.

Advance Care Planning

Individuals have the right to make their own health care decisions. Advance directives, as known as Living Wills, can help people communicate their treatment choices when they would otherwise be unable to make such decisions. Below is a link to frequently asked questions as well as the forms needed to initiate an Advance Directive for Health Care.

Advance Directive FAQ’s (English)
Advance Directive for Healthcare Form (English)

Advance Directive FAQ’s (Spanish)
Advance Directive for Healthcare Form (Spanish)

Advance Directive- Appointment of Health Care Agent Form (English)

Provider Identification of Surrogate FAQ’s (English)
Provider Identification of Surrogate (English)
Provider Identification of Surrogate (Spanish)

You should discuss these choices with your family and doctor so they can better understand what is important to you in receiving medical treatment. Please visit the state of Tennessee Department of Health’s Health Care Decision Making page for additional information.

Additional Resources for Advance Care Planning

Honoring Choices® Tennessee (
The Conversation Project
Tennessee End-of-Life Partnership
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

*Tennessee drivers or identification card holders can now acknowledge whether they have completed an Advance Directive for Health Care form by assessing the Driver’s Services page and entering information in the “Add Emergency Contacts” section. This information will be only accessible to law enforcement in crisis or emergency situations.

Health Literacy

Health literacy is the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use healthcare information in order to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment. Health literacy is important for everyone because, at some point in our lives, we all need to be able to find, understand, and use health information and services.

Below are several health literacy resources.

Nashville General Hospital Foundation
NGHF Health Literacy Campaign – For Our Good Health is providing simple and easy-to-understand information sheets regarding various health topics including, but limited to exercise, diabetes, mental health, etc. Please visit their website NGHF Health Literacy Campaign to access this information.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
The AHIMA Foundation believes it is our responsibility to unlock the potential of health information for public benefit. Health Information experts with the AHIMA Foundation have put together resources to make it easy for consumers to understand and use health information with confidence. Please visit Health Info Explained or the AHIMA Foundation for additional information.

Understanding Your Rights

Consumers have greater control over their own health information than ever before. Each of us has the right to accurate, secure, and confidential personal health information.

Below is additional from the Tennessee Department of Health as it relates to protected health information.

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act