Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Personal health records most likely to be used when doctors recommend them

As a patient myself I don't find the results of this survey too surprising. I surely would not be interested in a PHR from the insurance company. I am not interested in a PHR from my employer. Like many now days I am suspicious of the current models for independent PHR; Even Google's do-no-harm motto seems to be highly tarnished (I have to be careful saying that on a Google hosted blog).
58% said they might be interested in a PHR from a hospital or physician with whom they already have a relationship. Fifty-two percent said they might be persuaded to use a PHR if a doctor said it was safe, while 50% said they would use a PHR if a friend or family member said it was safe.  More

To have my healthcare provider offer a PHR seems useful. My healthcare provider does offer a PHR interface, but I question how useful this would be if I had to move. The tool doesn't seem to give me the ability to export my data so that I can carry it with me to my new town. It also doesn't give me an accounting-of-disclosures, something that seems logical given that the PHR is clearly just a module on their EHR.
The number of people using personal health records has doubled in the past year. But those users still account for only 7% of the American patient population, according to one recent survey. More

The good news is that PHR use is up, the bad news is that it is only up to 7%. I am not sure how much higher it will go, but I suspect that it won't ever be too high. I think that there are few people that (a) want to mess with their data, or (b) need to mess with their data. The (b) group is likely to be the larger.