Monday, January 22, 2007

Making PHRs work

Making PHRs work: "Right now, most individuals see PHRs as a lot of work with little benefit. Patients may input their diagnoses and medication histories, but few--if any--providers ever access them. If doctors begin using PHRs to interact with patients, however, consumers will get something out of them.

The Personalized Health Information Act would encourage doctors to use PHRs to replace the dreaded clipboards and multiple forms that patients face when they come to the doctor’s office. Any PHR could qualify for governmental incentives so long as it meets certain minimum standards. For example, the consumer needs to be in sole control over who has access to the record, a feature that will address many of the privacy concerns that often are raised by health IT. The data in the PHRs also will have to be fully portable, so that the individual can take the information with them to another provider at any time. In addition, PHRs will have to meet interoperability standards and privacy and security standards. Finally, the PHR must be able to send patient-specific messages in appropriate situations. Safeguards must be in place to ensure that absolutely no marketing or solicitations are permitted, and individuals must have the right to opt out of messages, either entirely or from particular sources, at"

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