Week 4 information systems in healthcare post discussion reply

Your patient has a Personal Health Record…Now what?

Discussion Reply

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Hello Class,

Personal health records are a wonderful thing because they allow for more patient engagement, and access to health records, as well as virtual access to providers (Hebda et al., 2019). The pro in this patient scenario is that the patient has access to some of her health records. This is great for allowing patients to be a part of their healthcare team by giving them the opportunity to review results, to hopefully educate themselves about result meanings and to become an advocate for themselves. The con to this scenario is that since she did not get her entire health record, she will have to seek out the other results from whatever organization or system they are currently with. Although not evident in her scenario, this can cause delay in care because if a patient has half of their record but the other half is lets say with Labcorp, they would have to request their records or sign a medical release form for their provider to gain access to these outside records. This can all take time, and wasted time means delayed care. Safeguards in PHR’s that I’ve seen are access codes. For some organizations, you cannot access your PHR unless you verify your identity with required identification and are given an access code by staff. Another safeguard PHR’s utilize to protect patient safety are requiring multi-step verification while logging on to PHR’s. For my own primary care PHR, I have to enter my name, date of birth, and the last four digits of my social security number. Once I enter this information, then I get a verification code via text to my phone number that was pre-registered by my doctor’s office. Once I enter the verification code that I received via text into the PHR, then I can access my records. Another safeguard is automatic log out of PHR’s after an allotted time, usually only a few minutes. I agree with the way that patients obtain PHR’s. I think they are a great tool for active participation and autonomy over our healthcare decisions. However, one big issue global issue with PHR’s that is also concerning to me are data breaches. In the era of smartphone utilization to gain access to PHR’s, data privacy and security is always in jeopardy because of constant data breaches that can include illegal access to personal health records, but also linked payment options like credit and debit cards, and social security numbers (Dameff & Longhurst, 2019).

Challenges for patients that do not have any access at all to PHR’s is exclusivity in healthcare decision making. PHR’s are almost always utilized in the healthcare setting now, and many providers require that patients utilize their PHR. Gone are the days of follow up phone calls and paper lab results. If patients done utilize their PHR’s in some settings, they won’t get any results at all. This is a big problem for people who do not use computers or any smart devices, mainly the geriatric population like elder baby boomers and the silent generation. This problem decreases with the younger, more tech-savvy generations like millenials, and generation Z who were raised using smart devices and electronic records. Another challenge for patients is not having access to their entire medical record. If I had a chest xray at a hospital, but I had special blood work that was sent out to Labcorp, I’d have to request my medical records and wait until either my provider or myself receives them. This delays continuity of care.

 ( Sabrina )


Dameff, Clay, B., & Longhurst, C. A. (2019). Challenges of Personal Health Records—Reply. 
JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical

321(23), 2369–2369.

Links to an external site.


Hebda, T., Hunter, K., & Czar, P. (2019). Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals (6th ed.). Pearson.