[ Tuesday, June 05, 2007 ]
Personal Health Records -- Risks and Benefits:
While waiting for a conference call this morning, I was going through some ModernHealthcare's that had stacked up in my inbox (with their "Daily Dose" emails every day, I'm not as careful to get through the print edition in a timely fashion), and saw a great article on PHRs and why doctors are a little leery of them. Unlike an Electronic Medical Record, which is the physician's or hospital's medical file turned into electronic format, a PHR is a load of patient data that can contain all types of personal information about the patient that wouldn't appear in a physician's office file (or at least not in the office files of every physician that has seen that patient). It is more a "personal" record. Imagine a card in your wallet with a chip in it (or even a chip implanted in your skin) that contains information on your allergies, current prescriptions, past medical history, and the like; it could contain information from lots of different doctors, and even information that no doctor might have (over the counter medication or supplements you take, for example). That would be very helpful if you were in an auto accident and couldn't communicate with the ER staff. But on the downside, if you show up with hundreds of pages worth of information, the ER physicians might have to spend more time reading your past history of pink-eye and childhood tonsilectomies to make sure there's nothing hidden in the PHR that would come back to bite them if something went wrong (which often happens with ER patients).
There's also the issue of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out); if the PHR contains bad information (or even extraneous information, since in some situations every second counts), it could result in worse care than if there were no PHR to start with.
Anyway, the two part article (here
) is definitely worth a read.
Jeff [9:08 AM]
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