Health Information Management

PHRs: New consumer-driven trend can lead to better care, but also privacy challenges

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 10, 2009

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As healthcare continues its push toward more transparency, consumers are taking a more proactive role in their care.

That means researching healthcare quality and prices with the same fervor they would an automobile or flat-screen television, asking questions they once would not, and, in many cases, taking control of their medical records.

To that end, personal health records (PHR) are becoming more widely used by consumers. But do these consumer-controlled records create too much of a privacy threat to mitigate the positive effect they can have on patient education and data exchange between hospitals?

The answer isn’t simple, says Reece Hirsch, Esq., partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, LLP, in San Francisco.

Editor’s note: For more information about PHRs and privacy concerns or to purchase a copy of this article, visit www.hcpro.com. Subscribers to Briefings on HIPAA have access to this article in the February issue of the newsletter.



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