Discussion: Integrating PHRs Into EHR Platforms
When electronic health records (EHRs) first entered the market, their primary focus was to collect and analyze patient information within health care settings. As technological capabilities grew, so did the interest in making these records available to patients. In addition, many health care professionals saw benefits in allowing the patient to enter his or her own health data into EHR platforms. Though many patients are already utilizing personal health records (PHRs) to manage and track their own health, some believe that an integrated system would provide a better, more comprehensive picture of a patient’s health history.
As a result, many EHR platforms are now equipped with a PHR tool. This PHR tool allows patients to enter health information as they would in a stand-alone PHR system. In addition, web-based portals within the EHR allow patients to access information entered by their physicians and health care providers.
Like many emerging trends and technologies, there is much discussion about the potential benefits and challenges of this type of integrated system. While many health care professionals are excited about the empowerment provided to patients, others express significant concerns about access, security, ethics, and other implications.
In this Discussion, you explore how integrating PHRs into EHR platforms could impact you and your patients.
- Review the media Patient-Centered Technologies, and reflect upon Dr. Simpson’s statements about the ownership of patient data.
- Review the article, “Dreams and Nightmares: Practice and Ethical Issues for Patients and Physicians Using Personal Health Records” found in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider how PHR capabilities can be integrated into EHR platforms.
- Examine the “dreams” and the “nightmares” the authors associate with this type of integrated health record. Select one benefit or one challenge of integrating PHRs into EHR platforms. Then, consider its potential impact on health care providers and patients. Why is this considered to be a benefit or challenge for health care professionals and patients?