Healthcare News & Insights

Personal health records create better-informed patients, improved care

A new survey indicates the increasing availability of personal health records (PHR) helps patients take better care of themselves and better understand the care and treatments they receive.

The survey by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) found that:

  • One in 14 Americans had accessed a personal health record (twice as many as the year before)
  • 33% of PHR users took specific actions to improve their own health
  • PHR use was most valued by patients who have chronic conditions, low income, and/or are less well-educated
  • Patients preferred to use PHRs provided by either their physician or their insurer, as opposed to versions from private companies
  • 40% of patients who haven’t used PHRs are interested in trying, but
  • 68% of patients still have serious concerns about the privacy of their data.

Despite the apparent benefits to patients, PHRs still aren’t used by the majority of Americans. Increased availability of PHRs (in part due to funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) should make them more available to more people in the next few years.

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