Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Filling the information gap in modern health care with the PHR

Filling in the information gap in modern health care with the PHR Information is the currency of modern health care. Knowing an individual’s family
background, history of diagnoses and procedures, test results and medications, and diet and
exercise habits is essential to managing health, assessing problems, and preventing medical
error. Today medical information is scattered among the many health care providers people
see throughout their lives. It is stored in individual memories, on scraps of paper and in
spreadsheets on personal computers. Some doctors and hospitals keep computerized
medical records, but most personal health information is stored in thick paper files that line
office walls. There is no coordinated system, no standardized, private and secure way to
integrate an individual’s health information in one place. A visit to a new doctor means new
forms to complete, new tests to run and new conversations reviewing your personal medical
history -- conversations that depend almost entirely on memory alone. People need effective tools to help them manage their health and their healthcare.

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