These articles are very interesting and cut to the heart of the problems with personal health records:
- Clearly defined ownership.
- Physician liability fears.
- Physician fear of "just one more thing."
- Patient engagement, empowerment and involvement at a deeper level.
- Lack of a definition of PHR.
So here is the rub. Give patients a way to electronically maintain the "crumpled list" that emerges from the pocket books of the patients outside of your EMR. Don't ask them to update their history and expect them to update everything from birthhistory doesn't changeor does it? Patients need a way to document their surgeries, immunizations (flu vaccine received at the grocery store, for example), and their family history in a way that is meaningful to them and in a place that they can refer back to it as needed.
PeaceHealth is working on a portal, which includes a PHR, to provide patients with a tool of their own. Data are pulled from the EMR and presented to the patient so they can see what medications we think they are taking (and dosage and frequency) and then allow them to contact us with updated information that we then change in the EMRa very different concept from an insurance company giving patients a PHR that the insurance company then uses for data. Expectation management is keyfor the physicians and the patients. We want patients to be engaged in their own personal health maintenance plan, and we want to provide them a tool that works for them, helps them not only maintain their health history in a printer-friendly format, but helps them document and achieve goals. I have a lot to say about this, having done a great deal of research and work over the past seven years on the concept of portals and PHRs. Just needed to commentyou asked!
Linda CenterPatient portal project managerPeaceHealthEugene, Ore. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.