Health care groups collaborate on new reference guides for personal health records

Apr 05, 2010

Several groups across the healthcare sector will rollout two new "Personal Health Record (PHR) Quick Reference Guides" in an effort to educate consumers and clinicians about how PHRs can be useful tools for making more informed healthcare decisions and enhancing care coordination.

The easy-to-use guides, one for consumers and one for clinicians, include basic information about PHRs along with a FAQ section designed to increase understanding of the value of using and maintaining a PHR. The guides were created by a collaboration of healthcare groups including the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Osteopathic Association of (AOAMI), and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

PHRs are vital healthcare tools that allow consumers to store such as medical conditions, allergies, medications, and doctor or hospital visits in one convenient and secure place. The consumer controls how the information in the PHR is shared, and with whom.

"Empowering consumers and clinicians with readily available health information helps get the right information into the right hands at the right time. Health plans are playing a valuable role in providing consumers with the tools and information necessary to make well-informed healthcare decisions," said Dr. Allan Korn, BCBSA senior vice president and chief medical officer. "PHRs can be an important contribution to helping personalize a patient's healthcare experience."

According to a recent survey of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, 90 percent of respondents currently offer or are planning to offer PHRs to their members, which is a significant increase over the 56 percent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies who offered or planned to offer PHRs in 2008.

PHRs also enable individual patients and their designated caregivers to view and manage health information and play a greater role in their own healthcare choices. "Patients have the ability to quickly and readily share healthcare information via a PHR, allowing providers to help determine a treatment plan and keep track of chronic diseases such as diabetes," said Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP, president, ACP.

"Encouraging physicians, other providers and patients to utilize PHRs will help streamline care coordination and improve the delivery of care," said Daniel W. Saylak, DO, president of the AOAMI. "PHRs have the ability to encourage individuals to make healthier lifestyle decisions."

While PHR usage continues to grow, these new quick reference guides were designed to help improve consumers' familiarity and comfort level with PHR tools to encourage more participation. "Increased utilization of health information tools such as PHRs is one avenue to help improve healthcare quality and efficiency," said William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA.

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

More information: For more information about PHRs or to download copies of the PHR Quick Reference Guides for consumers or providers, please visit www.bcbs.com/phr_guide

Provided by American College of Physicians

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Increasing health care value improves health care quality

Sep 24, 2008

Finding better ways to deliver healthcare to patients is key to ensuring that Medicare is able to meet the needs of the nation's baby boomers according to a new paper by Geisinger Health System published in Health Affairs.

IQ testing for obese people is challenged

Jan 23, 2007

A U.S. group is challenging an insurance company's requirement that morbidly obese people be given an IQ test before undergoing weight loss surgery.

Error sends healthcare termination notices

Jun 30, 2006

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is blaming its computer system for an error that resulted in 11,000 people receiving healthcare termination notices.

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...