personal health record (PHR)

A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual it pertains to.

What is a personal health record (PHR)?

A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual it pertains to. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an electronic health record (EHR) is similar documentation maintained by health professionals and official agencies.

The data maintained in a PHR varies from one person to another and from one system to another but information in a typical record might include:

  • Information about visits to health care professionals
  • Allergies
  • Family history
  • Immunizations
  • Information about any conditions or diseases
  • A list of medications taken
  • Records of hospitalization
  • Information about any surgeries or procedures performed.

In the United States, a group of companies including Walmart and AT&T have collaborated for the creation of a Web-based framework for PHRs, known as Dossia.

Learn More About IT:

Wikipedia has more information in their entry about personal health records.

The non-profit American Health Information Management Association has an FAQ on personal health records.

Read about personal health record software and services

SearchHealthIT.com has an article on Google's PHR service, Google Health

This was first published in May 2010

Dig deeper on HIPAA and other healthcare compliance requirements

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