Personal Health Records
A personal health record (PHR, also known as a personally controlled health record or PCHR) is “an electronic application through which individuals can access, manage and share their health information, and that of others for whom they are authorized, in a private, secure, and confidential environment.”1 PHRs are lifelong summaries of key information from all providers and include data gathered between encounters, and although they may be linked to and share information with electronic health records (EHRs), PHRs are distinct in that the locus of control of information is the patient2 (and in the case of pediatrics, the parent or guardian) instead of a clinician or health care institution.
While specific definitions are still evolving (including the HL7 PHR-S functional model3) the goals of PHR development and adoption include: education and empowerment of health consumers, improvement of patient safety, health quality, and reduction of costs through information access (to improve efficiency and reduce duplication of services). Interest in development and adoption of PHRs has increased among employers,4 professional health groups5 and government agencies,6 and a list of 20 recommendations on privacy, security requirements, interoperability, research and evaluation and federal roles in PHR and PHR system development has been published.7
KeywordsHealth Record Child With Special Health Care Need Personal Health Record Health Information Exchange Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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