As patients begin to take on the role of health consumers, adoption of personal health records (PHR) by both providers and patients is gaining momentum. In the world of consumer-oriented and participatory healthcare, understanding personal health records (PHRs), the different systems available to individuals, and what affect this might have on you and your practice is critical.
The PHR is an electronic record of health information that is developed for, and maintained by, individual healthcare consumers. These individuals own and manage the information in the PHR, which comes from both their healthcare providers and the individuals themselves. PHR systems may contain data from clinician electronic health records, lab results, and patient self-entered data.
Many providers—motivated by patient retention, effective and efficient facilitation of communication, and increased patient involvement and compliance—have begun to offer virtual care options in their practice. Patient portals and mobile apps act as an extension of traditional on-premise care by using electronic means to encourage compliance with doctors’ recommendations—ranging from the timely scheduling of tests to follow-up reminders and making lifestyle changes. They also provide a new outlet for the patient to interact with the provider or staff to fulfill requests for appointments, tests, and non-urgent medical queries.
PHR systems provide patients with comprehensive historical data on laboratory test results, provider visits, medications, and other healthcare information that may be critical in a time of crisis or during non-crisis situations such as travel or relocation. PHR systems—although still evolving—represent an important link in patient care. What role will your practice play in the empowerment of patients through access to their health records?
[Reproduced from http://www.the-rheumatologist.org/]
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