Personal Health Records controlled by the individual patient containing health information from a variety of sources offers a number of benefits, including:
- Better care co-ordination: with information more easily shared across multiple care providers, as well as facilitating secure patient-to-provider messaging
- Better management of chronic conditions: patients can use their PHR to record symptoms and monitor test results such as blood pressure or blood sugar readings
- Easier tracking of family health conditions: parents or carers who manage health for multiple people, e.g. children or elderly dependents, can keep track of medications and immunisations.
- Emergency or overseas care: managing care while travelling is difficult because of the siloed nature of health information. Online PHRs with the appropriate permissions can give emergency information to health care providers anywhere
Given the siloed nature of medical data storage, empowering individual patients with a local copy of their health records is an elegantly simple solution to many of the issues facing healthcare delivery today.
Plus, the challenges facing health systems attempting to aggregate large, centralised, data stores simply disappear when each patient is directly responsible for the quality of their own data. And they’re huge: way back in 2012, Forbes called the $700M cost of health systems for one single health provider “Staggering”.
In the context of data quality and availability, PHRs offer two key benefits:
- Combining patient reported data with data from clinical systems and connected devices becomes hugely simplified, because the patient is the owner of their data.
- Informed consent sits at the heart of the PHR platform, eliminating the need to manage and store consent in multiple third party databases.