Attention Caregivers! Why Are Personal Health Records So Important?

A personal health record (PHR) is typically maintained by an individual. PHR’s provide a complete summary of the health and medical history of a person by gather many different sources of information and storing them online electronically. It is important to make the distinction between PHRs and EHRs (electronic health records). EHRs are software systems design for health care providers, which are basically the clinicians notes to patients regarding their care. PHRs contain a very diverse range of information including:

-allergies and adverse drug reactions

-past illnesses and hospitalizations

-past surgeries and other medical procedures

-lab tests


-medications(including dosage and duration) as well as over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements

An important factor in the delivery of the personal health record information is the platform it is delivered in. Nowadays, it is popular to use internet-based PHRs. Personal health information is accessed through a web browser online. This allows you to be able to print information, import data from other information systems, backup data and share important information with other health care providers.

The disadvantage of using internet-based PHRs is the chance of damage to the Web server. As with any other web-based application, you may also be vulnerable to unauthorized access. The advantage is that it is highly portable. Anywhere that you have an internet connection, you can easily access your online PHRs.

Consumers can obtain a PHR from various sponsoring organizations with the product vendor in charge of the account. The direct-to-consumer versions require that the consumer pay a fee for registering a new account. Employers and health insurance companies have gotten into the mix recently and are offering PHR services, but it unclear whether the PHRs will be transferable upon a person leaving a position.

last modified 4/4/10

Last Modified April 5, 2010 @ 12:15 pm
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