John Moore over at Chillmark Research had a great guest post from Dr. Louis Siegel.
In this post, he talks about the Collaborative Health Record. This is a record of a patient's health that both the physician and the patient have access to.
He makes that point that a PHR is really only a small lens into the entire realm of health information available.
Outside the US, the term "Electronic Health Record" has a slightly different meaning. It is the longitudinal record of care for a patient which both can access. Many countries are creating systems to access this information. In Australia, they call it the "Personally Controlled Health Record". In HITSP, we defined PHR based on the definition of EHR. Instead of saying that it was an IT system designed for Physician use, the PHR was a system designed for Patient use.
The reality is that EHR and PHR are simply two sides of the same coin, and that we need to think about them together. Innovation that applies to one also applies to the other. For example, with respect to the Public Health Alerting scenario I'm demonstrating today at #2011PHI, the same interface could also be used from a PHR to show patients what public health alerts are related to their symptoms.
We need more of this kind of thinking in Healthcare. I applaud John and Dr. Siegel for their insight.
I cannot wait (although I must) until my healthcare provider installs their patient portal. That system is connected to the EHR and will be a great tool to assist me in collaboration with my doctor.
Now if we could just update our secondary (and primary) education systems to teach people how to work with their physicians. Then we could enable collaboration around health, instead of disease.