Personalized Health Records

PersonalizedHealth Records

Personalizedhealth record, abbreviated as PHR is a tool that is used to gather,monitor and relay previous and present information about the healthof an individual. PHRs bring significant benefits to patients andhealthcare providers when they are used. For instance, theinformation stored in a PHR can be used in cases of repeated medicalprocedures to save time and money. The data stored previous tests canbe used instead of conducting new tests from scratch. However,several barriers stand in the way of this important healthcareprogram. This paper seeks to explore the major barriers hindering theefficient use of PHRs in medical care.

Onethe biggest to HPR system is the accuracy of the informationcontained in the system’s databases. PHRs that are based on theInternet allow users to enter and update information to their files.The precision and dependability of the data that is entered andupdated by individuals are a concern that has been raised by manycritics of the program (In El, 2014). Web-based PHR systems do notprovide enough directions to consumers on how they should key in datato the system. On the flipside, the data entered by consumers in thisway is not verified, so scheming individuals can enter or updateinaccurate information in an attempt to achieve individual benefitsfrom the system.

Secondly,the other barrier to the implementation of networked personal healthrecords is issues of literacy and the digital divide. In thiscontext, the digital divide refers to the disparities in use oftechnology between the old and young generations. Consumers who havelow levels of computer skills and literacy on issues of health are anobstacle to the PHR program. Elderly and physically challenged peopleare the biggest victims of this barrier (Hasman &amp MIE, 2006).Compared to the young generations, they have a lower computer andliteracy levels. As a result, they cannot efficiently use a PHRsystem. Technophobia, physical and mental limitations also play asignificant role in watering down the implementation of the PHRsystems.

Thethird major facing the implementation of networked PHR is the concernover data privacy and security. Many consumers who do not use PHRsystems cite the privacy of the data as the biggest factor that keepsthem from using the system (Wilson, 2009). Patients suffering fromsensitive personal ailments like breast cancer are very cautiousabout using networked PHR systems. They fear that people may know oftheir conditions and discriminate against them. In PHR system, userscontrol who can view, use or share the information they store there.However, this measure has not done enough to win the trust of mostconsumers as far as privacy and security of data in PHR systems areconcerned.

Tomake a PHR, the following information is required:

  • Identification sheet

  • Problem list

  • Medication record

  • History and physical record

  • Progress notes

  • Consultation

  • Doctor’s orders

  • Imaging and X-ray

  • Lab reports – Lab reports would the most difficult to obtain since most hospitals keep them without giving the patient a copy.

  • Immunization record

  • Consent and authorization forms.

Iwould strongly recommend the creation of a PHR for my hospital. Themain reason for this measure is to save time and resources that areused to collect patient information that could have been stored in aPHR. For example, in case a patient comes for a follow-up test, itwould be easy and fast to know their results and diagnosis fromprevious visits to the hospital by just referring to the PHR.Thirdly, using a PHR could make the transfer of patients from myhospital to another medical facility. The patient’s new doctor willget all necessary information from the PHR for easy and fast medicalcare.


Hasman,A., MIE, &amp MIE 2006. (2006). Ubiquity:Technologies for better health in aging societies : proceedings ofMIE2006.Amsterdam [u.a.: IOS Press.

InEl, M. C. (2014). Researchperspectives on the role of informatics in health policy management.Hershey, PA: Medical Information Science Reference.

Wilson,E. V. (2009). Patient-centerede-health.Hershey, PA: Medical Information Science Reference.