Study: Promise of PHRs Still Elusive

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A new study of the personal health records software market finds that the promises of the technology remain a long way off, despite some large delivery systems adopting PHRs and the federal government encouraging their use.

"Unfortunately, despite the renewed buzz and some well-publicized initiatives, the reality is that we are still no closer to a true personal health record than we were five or 10 years ago," according to the report from information technology services/advisory firm Computer Sciences Corp., Falls Church, Va. "Fundamental barriers still exist, and without major changes in behavior and dramatic increases in adoption of technology, a true PHR--and the benefits associated with it--will not be possible."

Three types of PHRs continue to dominate the market and each type has fundamental flaws. Payer-populated PHRs rarely have clinical information directly from providers, provider-populated PHRs generally have been limited to large delivery systems with high levels of electronic health records adoption, and untethered/patient-populated PHRs require manual data entry if a user cannot get the information electronically from providers and payers.

The market still does not offer a true PHR, according to the report. At a minimum, CSC says a PHR should include accurate and complete data from all care settings, interactive with data flowing between consumers and authorized clinicians, patient-controlled enabling the consumer to have lifetime access to the PHR data and decide who else has access, and secure and accessible only to the consumer and authorized third parties.

The full free report is available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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