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PHR (Personal Health Record) is an instrument, or a method that helps a person to keep track of his past, present and future health trends. In a PHR, we find information like the list of medical problems that one has been through, Progress comments from health care providers, any orders by a doctor pertaining diet, treatments and tests, among other pieces of medical information. It is important to note that PHRs are maintained by any person who wishes to track his health records and not the physician

Importance of PHR

The most important thing about a PHR is that it helps the individual to keep track of his or her health trends. When someone becomes sick, the physician will find his health record very useful. When dealing with a patient who has been tracking his or her health records, the chances of wrong medication or misunderstood symptoms are very low. This is because the PHR may even show the responsiveness of the patient to the different spectrums of treatment. To this end, we realize that the PHR is important to both the physician and the patient. To the doctor, it eliminates the need of very intensive and extensive tests to establish the cause of the illness. To the patient it saves him or her a lot of trouble, like having to undergo testing that may even have biased results. It is therefore prudent to maintain a PHR

Security of a PHR

It is important to note the one’s Health records belong to his physician but the information therein belongs to him. According to the law, one can access your health records for reasons like to give you medication, for reasons of payment for medical services and to ensure that the medical care you receive is high quality.

A hospital reserves the right to disclose your health information without your consent to a family member (like a spouse, son etc), if you don’t consent but the family, member is involved in providing your medical care. This means that even as you own the rights to your health information, you cannot conceal it from the person that is offering you medical care. It is however simpler and better for a patient to specify the family member to be trusted.

If you realize that your privacy rights as regards your health information have been infringed, you can always contact the privacy officer of your care provider. If it is not settled at this level, then you can file a complaint with the organization or the department of Health and Human services’ office for civil rights. The complaint should be in writing.

Web-based PHR providers

There are many web based PHR providers but let us discuss five of them

  1. 911 Medical ID Card

This is a web – based PHR provider.

Some of the advantages of this web-based provider are:

  • Their website is properly designed and it is easy to navigate through the different items on their website
  • Their IDTM is card is a onetime purchase with no service fees to operate the card

This PHR provider also has shortcomings

  • One can only add up to ten family members on his ID card. Some families may have more than ten members

Like the some others, one of the remarkable advantages of this provider is

  • It has a comprehensive PHR plan

However, we notice that there is a big shortcoming with this website

  • Their website is not in English. This means that although it is online, someone may not find it useful simply because of language barrier

We can notice from their website one advantage:

  • The website has direct and easy to follow links. This means that even new PHR users will find it easy to use

One major shortcoming with the PHR provider will be

  • Their diagnosis link is not properly detailed. A person using PHR for the first time will not find it easy to comprehend
  1. OnlineMedicalRegistry

This is another online PHR provider. It has a distinct advantage

  • Their profile records are properly organized. This makes it easy to retrieve important health information

A shortcoming that comes clearly is:

  • The first page that opens when one clicks on the website does not provide enough information
  1. MyMedSafe

This is also an online PHR provider. It shares pros and cons with above

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