Personal Health Records: Patients in Control

Personal Health Records: Patients in Control

Ebrahim Randeree (Florida State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-016-5.ch004
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An increasing focus on e-health and a governmental push to improve healthcare quality while giving patients more control of their health data have combined to promote the emergence of the personal health record (PHR). The PHR addresses timeliness, patient safety, and equity, goals that the Institute of Medicine has identified as integral to improving healthcare. The PHR is vital to the National Health Information Network (NHIN) that is being developed to give all Americans access to electronic health records by 2014. Despite increasing public access to PHRs via employers, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and independent entities, it is unclear whether the PHR will be successfully implemented and adopted by the public. This chapter looks at how PHRs address the needs, desires, and expectations of patients, explores the data quality concerns regarding patient-generated information (data capture, sharing and integration with other systems), discusses social implications of adoption, and concludes with a discussion of the evolving role that PHRs play in the growth of patient-centered e-health.
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The ongoing transition toward the electronic medical record (EMR), initially referred to as computerized patient record or electronic patient chart (Tang & McDonald, 2001), was spurred by concerns over medical errors and rising costs in healthcare. As EMR systems became more robust, they proved themselves to be beneficial to healthcare providers in many ways. The EMR reduced information duplication (Ewing & Cusick, 2004), improved utilization of lab and radiology results (Ewing & Cusick, 2004; Wang, Middleton, Prosser, Bardon, Spurr, Carchidi, et al., 2003), increased the efficiency of coding and billing (Menachemi & Brooks, 2006; Schmitt & Wofford, 2002), and provided healthcare personnel with quicker access to patient records (Sandrick, 1998; Wang et al., 2003).

Yet, patients and their caregivers share EMR benefits only indirectly. Patients continue to be viewed by EMR developers as passive participants who should not have direct access to or control of health data that are contained within the EMR. At the same time, patients want to be more engaged in their own healthcare and are seeking information online (Ball, Smith, & Bakalar, 2007). Use of the Internet to gather information about healthcare has increased substantially in recent years (Clark, Williams, Clark, & Clark, 2002; Gerber & Eiser, 2001; Lenhart, Horrigan, & Fallows, 2004), and the Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates the number of Americans searching for online health information at 113 million (Fox, 2006). As a result, patients have been undergoing a role change that is facilitated by Internet technology. The traditional paradigm of the patient as a passive recipient of physician diagnosis and instruction is evolving toward the patient becoming the driver of healthcare relationships. Patients have more options for receiving care, such as newly-created “store front” clinics being offered by major retailers to provide basic care (Wal-Mart, 2007). In addition, the Internet has greatly improved access to health information (Greenberg, D’Andrea, & Lorence, 2004), allowing patients to explore new treatments, to access current research journals, and to utilize increasingly sophisticated interactive and individually tailored programs through the Internet and Internet-enabled devices for health behavior change and chronic disease management (Ahern, 2007).

The personal health record (PHR) has emerged as a mechanism for patients to participate directly in the benefits of electronic records and integrated e-health delivery. Proposed benefits of the PHR include secure online access, comprehensive personal health history, means to become one’s own health advocate, benchmarks and prompts for health maintenance, fluid communication between patient and provider, and automatic data entry (Morrissey, 2005). As patients manage their own personal health records using a PHR, it is hoped that this will help them make more informed choices about available options and give them the ability to exercise greater control over their own healthcare (Tsiknakis, Katehakis, & Orphanoudakis, 2002), in effect converting patients from passive information recipients to proactive consumers and generators of health information.

Leading health informatics groups in the U.S.—the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)—note that PHRs empower patients by providing a means for collecting, tracking, and sharing important, up-to-date health information for them or those in their care (AHIMA, 2006). Additionally, PHRs can promote patients’ health management by providing cues for health issues (e.g., weight control or diabetes management), delivering reminders for medical test scheduling, and supporting entry of information—such as blood pressure or blood glucose levels—that may increase compliance to treatment protocols.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Joseph Tan
E. Vance Wilson
Chapter 1
Juanita Dawson, Bengisu Tulu, Thomas A. Horan
This chapter provides a conceptual foundation by exploring the existing literature on traditional healthcare, patient-centered healthcare, and the... Sample PDF
Towards Patient-Centered Care: The Role of E-Health in Enabling Patient Access to Health Information
Chapter 2
Alejandro Mauro
This chapter introduces a series of techniques and tools useful for developing patient-centered e-health. As information technology (IT) is... Sample PDF
Patient-Centered E-Health Design
Chapter 3
Jan-Are K. Johnsen
In this chapter, we look at some fundamental aspects of communicating about ourselves and our health through technology. In particular, we examine... Sample PDF
Connecting with Ourselves and Others Online: Psychological Aspects of Online Health Communication
Chapter 4
Ebrahim Randeree
An increasing focus on e-health and a governmental push to improve healthcare quality while giving patients more control of their health data have... Sample PDF
Personal Health Records: Patients in Control
Chapter 5
Elaine A. Blechman
Newly disabled workers are often unemployed, uninsured, and indigent. They are in desperate need of Social Security OASDI monthly benefits, and the... Sample PDF
Disability Determinations and Personal Health Records
Chapter 6
E-Health Marketing  (pages 70-80)
Muhammad F. Walji, John A. Valenza, Jiajie Zhang
In this chapter, we review key concepts, using the marketing mix framework, to identify the needs of healthcare consumers, and the tools and... Sample PDF
E-Health Marketing
Chapter 7
Olli P. Järvinen
This chapter introduces the privacy management framework as a means of studying patient-centered e-health. The chapter raises some important issues... Sample PDF
Privacy Management of Patient-Centered E-Health
Chapter 8
Richard Klein
Patient-centered e-health (PCEH) offerings see the emergence of divergent, new third parties, through initiatives, including (a) medical content... Sample PDF
Trust in Patient-Centered E-Health
Chapter 9
John Powell, Natalie Armstrong
This chapter deals with the principles and practice of patient and public involvement in e-health research, and discusses some of the issues raised.... Sample PDF
Involving Patients and the Public in E-Health Research
Chapter 10
Stefano Forti, Barbara Purin, Claudio Eccher
This chapter presents a case study of using interaction design methods for exploring and testing usability and user experience of a Personal Health... Sample PDF
Using Interaction Design to Improve Usability of a PHR User Interface Based on Visual Elements
Chapter 11
Jiao Ma
This chapter explores the use of Web sites to provide patients with understandable information about the quality and price of healthcare (healthcare... Sample PDF
Healthcare Quality and Cost Transparency Using Web-Based Tools
Chapter 12
Ann L. Fruhling
This chapter is drawn from a comprehensive study that examined the effect Human-Computer Interaction usability factors had on rural residents’... Sample PDF
Perceptions of E-Health in Rural Communities
Chapter 13
Elizabeth Cummings, Stephen Chau, Paul Turner
This chapter explores how in developing patient-centred e-health systems it is possible to accommodate heterogeneous characteristics of end-users... Sample PDF
Assessing a Patient-Centered E-Health Approach to Chronic Disease Self-Management
Chapter 14
Michel J. Sassene
This chapter investigates asthmatics’ reasons for not adopting an e-health system for asthma selfmanagement. An understanding of these reasons is... Sample PDF
Incompatible Images: Asthmatics' Non-Use of an E-Health System for Asthma Self-Management
Chapter 15
Linda M. Gallant, Cynthia Irizarry, Gloria M. Boone
An extended version of the technology acceptance model (TAM) is applied to study hospital Web sites, one specific area of e-health. In a review of... Sample PDF
Exploring the Technology Adoption Needs of Patients Using E-Health
Chapter 16
E. Vance Wilson, Nancy K. Lankton
This chapter presents a new rational-objective (R-O) model of e-health use that accounts for effects of facilitating conditions as well as patients’... Sample PDF
Predicting Patients' Use of Provider-Delivered E-Health: The Role of Facilitating Conditions
About the Contributors