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Managing Personal Health Records

Managing Personal Health Records

Managing Personal Health Records

In this writing assignment, you will write a one- to two-page paper in which you describe concerns in managing a personal health record.

Step 1 Read the scenario:

· Cindy is a 57-year-old single female who works as a graphic designer at a midsized paper manufacturer. She describes herself as being very shy and private. She weighs 358 lbs and is 5′ 8″ tall. She has recently lost her mother and is greatly concerned about improving her own health. She has been diagnosed with the following conditions: type II diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

· For each condition, she sees a different provider in a different healthcare institution. However, all the institutions are affiliated with a large regional healthcare system. Cindy takes five prescription medications for her conditions and fills them at three different pharmacies, each located near one of her providers. In the past, she has kept her medical records in a box in her closet. She has become frustrated with the lack of communication between her providers and her relationship with them.

Step 2 Include responses to the following questions when you write your paper:

· What benefits do personal health records (PHRs) bring to patients?

· What concerns do personal health records (PHRs) bring to patients?

· What concerns do you envision Cindy having with adopting a PHR?

· Do you feel those concerns outweigh the benefits of adopting a PHR? Why or why not?

· How could these barriers be overcome?

· Where would Cindy seek guidance in adopting a PHR?

· Given the facts of this scenario of multiple health providers, multiple prescriptions, multiple pharmacies, and no PHR, how many potential points of failure exist in the overall care of this patient? Will a PHR help eliminate all or even some of these points of failure?

Cite any sources in APA, 7th edition with links to websites included.


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Personal Health Records (PHRs) offer numerous benefits to patients, including improved accessibility, enhanced communication between healthcare providers, empowerment in managing one’s health, and the potential for better health outcomes (Tang et al., 2006). However, alongside these advantages, there are also concerns associated with PHRs.

One primary benefit of PHRs is the ability for patients to access their medical information conveniently. This accessibility allows individuals like Cindy to track their health status, medications, and appointments easily. Furthermore, PHRs facilitate communication between healthcare providers, reducing the likelihood of medical errors and ensuring continuity of care.

Despite these benefits, concerns exist regarding privacy and security. Patients may worry about unauthorized access to their sensitive health information, especially if PHRs are managed online or through electronic systems. Additionally, there may be apprehension about the accuracy and completeness of the information within the PHR, particularly if data from multiple sources are integrated.

In Cindy’s case, adopting a PHR may present several concerns. Given her shy and private nature, she might be hesitant about sharing her health information electronically. Moreover, managing multiple chronic conditions and medications from various providers and pharmacies could complicate the organization of her PHR. Additionally, Cindy’s frustration with the lack of communication between her providers suggests a potential lack of trust in the healthcare system, which may hinder her willingness to adopt new technologies like PHRs.

While these concerns are valid, the benefits of adopting a PHR likely outweigh them. With proper guidance and support, Cindy can overcome these barriers. Seeking assistance from her healthcare providers or a patient advocate can help address her concerns and ensure a smooth transition to using a PHR.

In Cindy’s situation, there are numerous potential points of failure in her overall care, including fragmented communication between providers, medication discrepancies, and lack of centralized health information. A PHR has the potential to mitigate some of these points of failure by consolidating her medical records, facilitating communication between providers, and promoting medication adherence. However, it may not eliminate all points of failure entirely, as challenges such as data integration and interoperability between different healthcare systems still exist.

In conclusion, while there are concerns associated with managing a PHR, the benefits for patients like Cindy are significant. With proper guidance and support, adopting a PHR can enhance patient engagement, improve care coordination, and ultimately lead to better health outcomes.

Reference: Tang, P. C., Ash, J. S., Bates, D. W., Overhage, J. M., & Sands, D. Z. (2006). Personal health records: Definitions, benefits, and strategies for overcoming barriers to adoption. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 13(2), 121–126.


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