Past medical history

Not to be confused with Medical history or History of medicine.
"Past history" redirects here. It is not to be confused with History of presenting complaint (history of the present illness).
"PFSH" redirects here. For the airport in Alaska with that ICAO code, see Shaktoolik Airport.

In a medical encounter, a past medical history (abbreviated PMH),[1] is the total sum of a patient's health status prior to the presenting problem.

Questions to include

Different sources include different questions to be asked while conducting a PMH, but in general, they include the following:


Several acronyms have been developed to categorize the appropriate questions to include:

In prehospital medicine, namely EMS, the acronyms SAMPLE or CHAMPS are used.

Medicare definitions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services[5] has published criteria for what constitutes a reimbursable PMH. A PMH is considered one of three elements of the "Past, Family, and Social History" (abbreviated as PFSH):[6]

A pertinent PFSH consists of at least one of the three components; a full PFSH consists of two or three components for an established patient, or all three components for a new patient visit.[7]

CMS required history elements[8]
Type of history CC HPI ROS Past, family, and/or social
Problem focused Required Brief N/A N/A
Expanded problem focused Required Brief Problem pertinent N/A
Detailed Required Extended Extended Pertinent
Comprehensive Required Extended Complete Complete

See also


  1. Swartz, Mark (2002). Textbook of Physical Diagnosis: History and Examination. Philadelphia: Saunders. pp. 19–23. ISBN 1-4160-2405-0.
  2. Science News: Enlarged Tonsils, Adenoids And Allergies May Affect A Child's Bite, Facial Appearance And/Or Behavior
  3. Useful Acronyms for Facilitators and Students
  4. HPI (history of present illness)
  6. Evaluation and Management Coding and Electronic Health Records
  7. Evaluation and Management Coding and Electronic Health Records
  8. "" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-27.

External links

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