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.