Personal health records

Personal health records (PHRs) are another great way to open the lines of communication with your patients. Figure 15-2 shows a personal health record.

Figure 15-2: Offer your patients access to their personal health record.


A PHR is a tool that operates independently of your practice’s EHR; however, it can work with your EHR. Owned and managed by the patient, the PHR can include any information from a clinical setting that the patient wants in the record. Ideally, a PHR allows patients to collect, store, manage, and share their personal health information with physicians, specialists, and designated caregivers while retaining its portability. Whether a patient has new insurance, switches physicians, or changes jobs, his or her PHR information should remain the same and offer the same accessibility.

PHRs can help patients manage the following types of information:

Demographic information

Problem list and diagnoses list

Medication list


Diagnostic test results

Procedures and surgeries

Doctor/hospital visit history

Family medical history

Remote monitoring data

Immunization history

tip.eps Several good Web sites provide patients details about selecting a PHR. Some PHRs are usually offered through employers and health plans, and others are available for purchase ...

Get Electronic Health Records For Dummies now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.