Patients Are Slow To Adopt PHRs According To Experts

It has been indicated that personal health records (PHR) benefit both patients and healthcare professionals, however patients are slow to embrace them....

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|Apr 22|magazine7 min read

It has been indicated that personal health records (PHR) benefit both patients and healthcare professionals, however patients are slow to embrace them. “Revolution Health and Google Health are two high-profile examples of the literally dozens of consumer-based electronic PHR (personal health record) providers to close their doors over the past few years. Many chalked these failures up to a patient community that just wasn’t ready to take responsibility for their own health information,” wrote Healthcare Technology Online’s Ken Congdon.

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The healthcare industry is constantly changing, and new technology is always entering the market place, however the question still remains if patients are ready to embrace PHRs.

Experts acknowledge that PHRs can be extremely beneficial for patients and the healthcare industry as a whole, however a recent study conducted in the US highlighted that only one in 10 American’s had a personal health record and only about 50 percent of those questioned even knew what a PHR was.

A number of reports in the last fortnight have also indicated that patients became far more involved, engaged, responsible and satisfied with their healthcare when they were granted access to their health records.

Healthcare Global looks into why are patients reluctant to embrace PHRs?

Technological issues include >>>

  • Concerns about personal health record privacy
  • The availability of personal health information in an emergency situation
  • The notion that the health care industry's adoption of information technology lags far behind industries such as insurance and banking

Philosophical issues include >>>

  • The process of gathering personal health records is a complicated and cumbersome one that could take years
  • Healthy patients who infrequently visit a doctor have little ePHI to begin with and, so the argument goes, have no interest in managing ePHI
  • Physicians are not promoting them

Many experts in the mHealth field believe that the real spur in adoption will have to come from physician engagement and encouragement. Many patients are reluctant of new technology, especially when it comes to their health records, so in order for the industry to see the benefits associated with PHR adoption, the driver is going to have to come from physicians and healthcare professionals.

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