Friday, July 13, 2007

Perspectives on PHRs

There's a lot of buzz and hype about Personal or Patient Health Records (PHRs). A PHR is a health record that is in the control of the individual patient, who makes it available as required to their health care providers. There are a great many risks associated with PHRs, but with giants like Microsoft and Google making noise about entering the space, anything can happen.

The California HealthCare Foundation has published a report titled Perspectives on the Future of Personal Health Records. It briefly explores the PHR from six perspectives:
  • The Big Picture Perspective
  • The Consumer Perspective
  • The Physician Perspective
  • The Clinical Technology Perspective
  • The Employer Perspective
  • The Public Health Perspective
Though very high level and supportive of the concept, the report doesn't sugarcoat the risks that must be addressed before PHRs can become a reality.

Another useful reference is the paper Personal Health Records: Definitions, Benefits, and Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Adoption. The paper summarizes a symposium of the AMIA College of Medical Informatics in 2005.

Both publications are worth a look for anyone interested in PHRs.

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