Sunday, February 25, 2007

Benefits of a PHR - a personal view from the UK

This is a guest post from Dr Brian Fisher of the Record Access Collaborative, UK.

" We have been showing patients their records on paper for many years, at Wells Park Practice. Our published experience, easiest to see at which includes investigating the reactions of patients with cancer to seeing their records, suggests the following conclusions, so long as simple safety procedures are carried out, as described later:

• It enhances communication between clinician and patient.
• It increases the onus on the clinician to tell the truth
• It increases patient satisfaction
• It enables patients to correct data errors, the commonest ones being demographic data, but the errors can also be about clinical process and outcomes.
• Patients feel better informed and almost always reassured, even when they read bad news.
• Patients feel they understand about 70% of what they read.
• It appears to improve compliance and support health education messages, such as smoking quit rates
• It is likely to improve self-care."

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