Health Information Management

PPV: Welcome the emergence of personal health records

HIM-HIPAA Insider, November 13, 2007

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Although polls suggest that many individuals do maintain some form of a personal health record (PHR), the number of people using electronic PHRs, especially those that are Internet-based or supported electronically by their providers, is still very small. Yet many individuals want to be able to e-mail their physicians, store immunization records, transfer information to a specialist, look up test results, and track medication use through an electronic record.

There is growing momentum for supporting PHR use by individuals. Whether an individual or health plan initiates a PHR to support disease management, an employer seeks to promote greater awareness of healthcare costs and the need for wellness among its employees through them, or a provider views a PHR as the missing information link between the provider and a patient, the trend toward PHR use is clearly moving forward.

However, provider and hospital interest in PHRs has been slower to materialize in comparison with individual interest. Despite the fact that all stakeholders stand to reap benefits from PHRs, the cost and risks associated with providing the right PHR can be significant barriers for many providers.

Editor's note: For more information on PHRs and the steps you can take to implement a provider-supported PHR, click here. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefing can read the full article in the November 2007 issue. You can also purchase this article for $10 by clicking on the link above.

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