Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NEJM Perspective: Integrated PHR

There's an interesting perspective about the concept of an "integrated PHR" in the NEJM this week. Dr. Paul Tang and Thomas Lee discuss the evolution of the personal health record (PHR) industry. Google Health, Microsoft Health Vault, and WebMD all offer PHR services. The integrated PHR is an extension of the EHR system that is used in a doctor's office. It's a great concept, but problems may occur if you visit different physicians who all use different EHR/EMR solutions. Plus, if you travel accross the country, you may run into similar issues. Personally, I'm a huge fan of integrated PHRs that potentially offer patients more services like online scheduling and secure online communication with the healthcare team.

So what does the future of PHRs look like? The stand-alone PHR has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The integrated PHR has different pros/cons. Which will dominate in the healthcare sector? Will both get integrated somehow?

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