The introduction of web-based personal health records (PHR) hails an emerging era in healthcare that promises to revolutionise communication between patients and their clinicians. The Markle Foundation Connecting for Health Collaborative defines the PHR as an “internet-based set of tools that allows people to access and coordinate their lifelong health information and make appropriate parts of it available to those who need it”—in essence, a “communications hub” controlled by the patient. Offering patient-empowering features such as online appointment calendars, patient-provider messaging, and the capability for patients to view and annotate their health records, the PHR has the potential of leveraging information to provide new avenues for measuring health and service outcomes over time. Conceivably, PHRs will also help to forge the important link between the provision of information and improved health. As the PHR gains momentum and the patient role evolves, survey findings corroborate consumer interest in maintaining their own health records.
Protti, Denis, NHS Connecting for Health, Website,