Personal Health Record

Overview [1]#

Personal Health Record (PHR) contain Patient Data and is the same types of information as Electronic Health Record and are set up and managed by patients.

Patients can use Personal Health Record to maintain and manage their health information in a private, secure, and confidential environment.

  • Personal Health Record can include information from a variety of sources including clinicians, home monitoring devices, and patients themselves.
  • A Personal Health Record, or PHR, is a health record where health data and information related to the care of a patient is maintained by the patient.[2]

The intention of a Personal Health Record is to provide a complete and accurate summary of an individual's medical history which is accessible online. The health data on a Personal Health Record might include patient-reported outcome data, lab results, data from devices such as wireless electronic weighing scales or collected passively from a smartphone.

Personal Health Record vs Electronic Health Record#

Personal Health Record should not be confused with an Electronic Health Record (EHR). An EHR is held and maintained by a various Health Care Providers and may contain all the information that once existed in a patient’s paper medical record, but in electronic form. Personal Health Record universally focus on providing individuals with the ability to manage their Health information and to control, to varying extents, who can access that health information. A PHR has the potential to provide individuals with a way to create a longitudinal health history and may include common information such as medical diagnoses, medications, and test results.

Personal Health Record is, or should be, a complete Electronic Medical Record to which the Patient can implement Access Control.

What is a Personal Health Record (PHR)? (Taken from PERSONAL HEALTH RECORDS AND THE HIPAA PRIVACY RULE) [3]#

There is currently no universal definition of a Personal Health Record, although several relatively similar definitions exist within the industry. In general, a PHR is an electronic record of an individual’s health information by which the individual controls access to the information and may have the ability to manage, track, and participate in his or her own Health Care.

Most PHRs also provide individuals with the capability to control who can access the health information in the PHR, and because PHRs are electronic and generally accessible over the Internet, individuals have the flexibility to view their health information at any time and from any computer at any location. The accessibility of health information in a PHR may facilitate appropriate and improved treatment for conditions or emergencies that occur away from an individual’s usual health care provider. Additionally, the ability to access one’s own health information in a PHR may assist individuals in identifying potential errors or mistakes in their information.

Personal Health Record Concerns#

Personal Health Record is very difficult for any individual to maintain for the reasons described below.

Health Care Providers are generally poor about providing EHR to patients.#

When you ask for your medical records from a Health Care Provider you typically receive, sometimes very poor, copies of paper or printed records and I have NEVER gotten any Electronic Medical Record in any reasonable format that could be imported. Typically at best you get a PDF formatted document that you may print or occasionally a Blue Button that may be importable but they records are all in different formats that it is NOT reasonable to be able to be imported.

Interestingly many Health Care Providers cite the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as the reason.

Electronic Fitness Device#

There are many, many Electronic Fitness Device available and in use today from many manufactures. However the data from Electronic Fitness Devices are generally in data that is not accessible to the individual (ie Patient)

More Information#

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