The National Health Council recommends you to keep a personal health record and take it with you to your doctor. It’s one thing to document your medical information… It’s another to know when and how to use it. Welcome to MedicDrive, a collaborative project of medicdrive for advancing and educating about the role of Healthcare Information Technology in Personal Health Record Management. The intent of open medicdrive is to educate and make it possible for anybody with a computer, USB memory stick, Internet access and a little bit of initiative to create a portable personal health record for themselves or a loved one. Only authorized can edit.
Personal Health Record
There is no commonly accepted definition but according to US based The Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health collaborative, a public-private endeavor-”An electronic application through which individuals can access, manage and share their health information, and that of others for whom they are authorized, in a private, secure, and confidential environment”. According to AHIMA: The personal health record (PHR) is an electronic, universally available, lifelong resource of health information needed by individuals to make health decisions. Individuals own and manage the information in the PHR, which comes from healthcare providers and the individual. The PHR is maintained in a secure and private environment, with the individual determining rights of access. The PHR is separate from and does not replace the legal record of any provider.
- What does my Personal Health Record contain?
Your last name and commonly-used first name, birth date, information used to identify your personal physician and any information needed for healthcare coordination.
In Addition to
– General medical data: your personal medical and surgical histories, previous use of specialised medical services, recognised allergies and intolerances, and your vaccine history.
– Healthcare data: results from biological tests, reports from diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, diseases and treatment underway, etc.
– Imaging data: both reports and images: x-rays, IRMs, etc.
- Who can enter data into my PHR?
Doctors and healthcare professionals whom you will have personally approved. Each piece of information listed in your PHR will be dated, signed and its author identified.
- Will I be able to add information to my PHR myself?
Health information will be entered solely by healthcare professionals. However, there will be room for personal statements so that you can speak out about your health condition.
- Can I hide information?
Yes, you are allowed to hide medical information in your PHR, except from the healthcare professional who wrote it.
Where and how do patients access their PHR?
- Portable device Data
How does information get into the PHR?
- Institutional gateways
- Integrated service gateways
- Single-service gateways
- Aggregator models
- Third-party repositories
- Record locator service
Functions What can people do with their PHR?
Core repository of personal heath data
- Name and demographic information
- Emergency contacts, next of kin
- Family history
- Insurance information
- Problem list (diseases and conditions)
- Medications (Rx, over-the-counter [OTC], vitamins, herbals and other alternative therapies)
- Allergies and reactions
- Labs and tests
- Other therapeutic modalities (counseling, occupational therapy, alternative, etc.)
- Visit summaries
- Advance directive form
- Spiritual affiliations/considerations
- Other concerns—free text field to share other information with physicians
- Goals, next step, or disease management plan
Optional content or transactional services
- Links to patient education, self-care content, and consensus guidelines
- Secure messaging
- Doctor’s notes and other narrative information
- Appointment scheduling and reminders
- Preventive service reminders
- Adherence messaging
- Patient diaries (pain, symptoms, side effects)
- Longitudinal health tracking tools (charts, graphs)
- Drug interactions checking
- Prescription refills
- Financial information such as Explanation of Benefits
- Scanned images such as CT scans
Personal Health applications are tools and services in medical informatics which utilizes Information technologies to aid users to create their own personal health information file.
Most people do not carry medical records when they leave home. They do not realize that in an emergency, which no one can predict, these medical records can make a big difference. In fact, they could save a life. Previous medications, history of allergy to medications, and other significant medical or surgical history can help a physician to optimize treatment.
Questions to ask:
- What kind of information do you store in a Personal Health Record?
- What may be wrong with them?
- What information is relevant to their conditions?
- Who can help treat an illness?
- How can patients with chronic diseases live with and manage their conditions?
Mobile Digital Personal Health Record
Personal health records are the complete health data copy owned by an individual. It could be either paper-based or stored electronically on the patient’s computer locally or distally at another server and accessed through the internet. Digital Personal Health Records [DPHR] are tools and services in medical informatics which utilizes Information technologies to aid individuals to create their own personal health information. Current storage technologies which are deployed are optical media like CDs, DVDs or Blu Ray Discs and Flash memory devices like USB Flash drive and also Memory Storage Disks, Memory Sticks or Portable Hard drives.
They could also be stored online at a distant server. The health data could be entered by individuals or by their health care provider. It contains the patient’s personal data (name, date of birth and other demographic details). It also includes the patient’s diagnosis or health condition and details about the various treatment/assessments delivered by health professionals during an episode of care from the health care provider. Individuals create their own personal health record in DPHR, unlike the Electronic Medical Records which are created by the hospital and medical centres by physicians. With the growth of Web 2.0 on the internet, there is renewed interest in Personal health records in the electronic format today.
Personal Health Application
A Personal Health Application (PHA) is a next-generation consumer-centric information system that helps improve health care delivery, self-management and wellness by providing clear and complete information, which increases understanding, competence and awareness.
There is no commonly accepted definition but according to US based The Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health collaborative, a public-private endeavour-“An electronic application through which individuals can access, manage and share their health information, and that of others for whom they are authorized, in a private, secure, and confidential environment”. “An electronic universally available, lifelong resource of health information needed by individuals to make health decisions. Individuals own and manage the information in the PHR, which comes from health care providers and the individual.
The PHR is maintained in a secure and private environment, with the individual determining rights of access.The PHR is separate from and does not replace the legal record of any provider.” (The American Health Information Management Association
Features of an ideal Personal Digital Health Record
PDHRs can contain a diverse range of data but usually include basic information. Sacred-7 are seven critical pieces of patient information from which, physicians feel they can make the most diagnosis and rapid care decisions.
- LIST OF MEDICATIONS
- DRUG ALLERGIES
- DIAGNOSIS / PROBLEM LIST
- HISTORY OF TESTS AND PROCEDURES
- RECORD OF IMMUNIZATIONS PERTINENT
- FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY
Benefits of Portable Digital Personal Health Record
Portable Digital Personal Health Record Storage media are popular since they offer the advantage to Individuals to enable them to maintain their health information at their own hard drive or other storage devices. Moreover, these could be made easily accessible to any health care provider by the individual who controls the data.
Privacy & PHR Privacy Rights Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors HIPAA PRIVACY ISSUE & HIPAA HIPAA in Detail Topics for research about PHR PRIVACY RIGHTS
Why Open MedicDrive? There is a need for a simple, portable, personal digital health record. Although there are numerous electronic record managers in the market today, as yet there is no comprehensive and user-friendly personal health record manager. Despite the tremendous growth of internet over the past several years and also the ease of accessibility of internet services around the world today, there is always the risk of the network being not able to access the patient’s records during critical times. Portable systems of carrying the records are an option as they offer a rapid and easy method of accessing vital health information.
The need for a portable system of record is especially heightened during emergency medical situations. During these circumstances, the patient doesn’t have the time or the ability to call a phone number and wait for a fax to retrieve their vital health information. There is an assumption that once the patient has a small portable device with their emergency information stored in them; personal vital information can be rapidly accessed from their storage device using any standard or portable computer with any operating system. I have had first-hand experience with very sick individuals who had no records immediately available of previous medications or treatments. Since these patients were from a foreign country, language and culture barriers added to the difficulty in retrieving information about previous medical histories.
A ” Short term solution ” to this ever-rising problem is the introduction of a computerized personal record in a portable format. This would enable individuals to have medical records with them at all times. Technology has always played a significant role in the patient-physician relationship. Innovations in communications and information technologies like the telephone, the computer, and the Internet have significantly changed interactions between physicians and patients and have raised the level of health care delivery. The burgeoning growth of information technologies will continue to enhance the patient-physician relationship.
About the author
Nwasom is a pharmacy graduate and a pharmacist currently practising in the United Kingdom. I have great experience communicating with patients and their family as gained through working as a pharmacist in both the hospital and community pharmacy sector. I love writing so it was a natural thing to try and pass medical and health information on through writing.