SDW news brief: Personal health records boost preventative care

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 19, 2012

Patients are more likely to stay up to date with screenings and preventative medical tests when using interactive online personal health records (PHR), according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University developed and tested a fully functional interactive PHR and invited randomly selected patients to establish accounts and receive prevention recommendations and alerts. Researchers compared data collected from the test group to non-users in a control group.

The study found that at four months, PHR users were 15.3% more likely than non-users to stay up to date on colorectal screening, 12.4% more likely to stay up to date on breast cancer tests, and 11.3% more likely to have cervical cancer screening. The study also suggest patients who use PHRs feel more empowered in managing their health and making better healthcare decisions. PHRs that allow patients to access data from electronic health records may also better serve patients, according to researchers.

Source: InformationWeek

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