Challenging Old Notions About PHRs

Old notions continue to get challenged when it comes to patients wanting to interact with their healthcare online. A recent study found that "age, education level and income were not good indicators of patients’ willingness to adopt personal health records," reports FierceHealthIT. 74% of survey participants indicated they would adopt a PHR.

It’s more likely that there’s a correlation between sickness and use of the tool. Patients that tend to have complications and use multiple specialists across providers have a higher demand for personal health management tools.

The authors also pointed out that patients need tools and staff assistance to be comfortable with accessing and interpreting their information online correctly. They said "plain language" also helps make communication more effective. There’s no getting around it, we will continue to need experts to make sense of our clinical conditions. The jargon is tough to get through and co-morbidities require special training to join the dots. So how do we facilitate these conversations to happen in a timely, efficient and effective way – a role for technology perhaps?

Author Robert Green at EHR Intelligence points out that a PHR must also have a social aspect to be successful. "There is an important difference between engaging data and engaging people in the process of care," he notes.

People don’t want to interact with machines, they want to interact with other people through machines. There’s a big difference there. Be sure you have the right tools in place to engage patients the way they want to interact with you and provide the social aspect they are looking for as well. Learn more about our guided treatment solutions at

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