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The Personal Health Record (PHR)

Why Use a Personal Health Record (PHR)?

A personal health record is a necessary component of an individual's ability to manage their own health. There are three main forces driving the consumer's need to better manage their own health:

  • Increasing financial responsibility

  • Increased illness as the population ages, including the unique burden on the adult child

  • A shortage of physicians.
  • The Electronic Health Record (EHR)

    Having patient information readily available at the point of care, in electronic format is projected to deliver a number of benefits to individual consumers (patients), health care providers, and society as a whole. These benefits are thought to include:

  • Better management of health for individuals, as their health history, present care and issues such as allergic reactions and adverse drug reactions become readily available at the point of care.

  • A reduction in medical errors, as we will no longer rely on hand-written orders and no longer be hindered by lost or delayed access to medical charts.

  • A reduction in costs, as recently performed tests no longer need to be duplicated.

  • Improved consistency, as care that is proven to work is implemented more consistently across a population.
  • An opportunity exists to move closer to the full realization of these benefits. The federal government has committed to invest in excess of $20 Billion to assist hospitals and physicians implement health records, if they are able to demonstrate "meaningful use" of the technology.

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