Personal Health Records

Personal Health Records or PHR are the health-related documents or files of the individual patient which are managed by them in a secure, private, and confidential environment. It is an electronic application through which any individual patient can manage their data such as health reports, lab reports, and any other medical treatment details from which they have gone before. It is analogous to the maintenance of health record by hospitals or private clinicians. The information stored in the PHR’s can be retrieved online and offline so the medical information about the patient health can be retrieved in quick time. This is also the reason why PHR’s are so called as an electronic encyclopedia of person’s health.

The documentation in PHR’s is done and managed by the individuals themselves. Therefore, the providers should pay attention to the application formats so that the user doesn’t face any difficulty in handling the records.

How are Personal Health Records different from other medical records?

A PHR is an inclusive and extensive track record of the patient’s medical treatment. It is different from those portfolios where only providers can update the information. Even medical records and personal health records are both similar terms but they are different from management’s perspective as medical records are prepared by the physicians while personal health records are documented by the individuals themselves.

Generally, the patients are unaware of their health issues as they don’t take the responsibility of maintaining their details themselves and are more dependent on physicians. But with the help of PHR’s patients are now actively taking part in taking care of their health needs. Now, the individuals are becoming more health conscious as the lifestyle is gradually becoming sedentary.

Key points to consider while maintaining PHR’s

  • The information should be complete, accurate and precise.
  • The patient should have full access to the record.
  • It should include all the legal medical records of the patient.

Documents to be included in PHRs

Following are the main documents which need to be maintained under the personal health portfolio:-

  • User Identification Document – In this document, the user needs to enter all his personal details such as name, age, address, contact number etc.
  • Health Issue Details – This includes the individual’s health problems related data.
  • Treatment Records – It incorporates all the medication records patient has received. It includes the list of medicines or other curative measures given to the patient before.
  • Progress Reports – It covers the important notes or remarks given by the physicians or consultants.
  • Laboratory Reports – This report has all the data regarding the laboratory tests done.

In addition to the application, the service providers also provide some medical appliances or tools to the users for examining the minor health issues themselves. It encompasses all the health-related factors from tip to toe i.e. weight, height, fitness, and severe diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, lung diseases, sugar level etc.

PHR is a well-documented, detailed data on individual’s health. It is very helpful in providing fast treatment to the patient as all the medical information is recorded and maintained in a regulated way. Moreover, it is easy to acquire medical information when needed therefore every individual should try to maintain PHR as it makes them aware of their medical conditions.

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