Advertisement
Personal Health Record Use in EDs: Willing, But Able?

Personal Health Record Use in EDs: Willing, But Able?

Personal health records (PHRs) have emerged as important patient-controlled tools for managing health information. PHRs can be beneficial because they centralize information on patients’ medical history, physician encounters, and evaluations and treatments. Studies have suggested that greater adoption of PHRs can enhance care by providing physicians with a more complete picture of the patients they treat. This information exchange may lead to fewer treatment errors and better follow-up. Despite the potential benefits of PHRs, several barriers to adoption exist, including the economic costs of developing and paying for the system, a lack of a universal or standard platform for interoperability, and the transference of patient information from paper charts to electronic records. Furthermore, many physicians and patients have inadequate levels of computer competency, making adoption of PHRs even more challenging in some situations. “Patient care in the ED is often complicated because we’re unable to obtain an accurate history of patients even when they’re able to communicate with the ED staff,” says Anil S. Menon, MD, MS, MPH. “PHRs can help mitigate the impact of information gaps. EDs may be able to promote greater use of PHRs because these settings serve as an entry point into the medical system.” For example, patients may be willing to initiate a PHR while waiting for care in the ED. This is a time when they are focused on the importance of their medical care. Taking a Deeper Look In the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Menon and colleagues had a study published that sought to identify which ED patients were willing to initiate a PHR. The analysis also assessed whether ED...
[ HIDE/SHOW ]