July 26, 2007

Phlaunting PHRs

A July 17th press release by Aetna underscores the current push for patients to use personal health records (PHRs), by government, private insurers, large employers—even Google

The promises of a patient-centric healthcare system where medical information is easily accessible by all and patients are full participants in their care, as exemplified by PHRs, is balanced by concerns over privacy of personal data, lack of medical record interoperability, potential disruption in the physician/patient relationship, confusion over definitions and goals of PHRs, and lack of evidence demonstrating their efficacy and improved quality care. For those interested in learning more about PHRs, the independent philanthropy California Healthcare Foundation published Perspectives on the Future of Personal Health Records last month. The report provides a forum for six computer-literate healthcare and legal professionals to share their knowledge, fears and visions on PHRs.  

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