Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay

Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay


With current advancements in healthcare technologies as well as the increased attention of healthcare facilities to the optimization of their operations, the topic of personal health records (PHR) has never been as relevant. PHRs refer to applications and tools that patients can use for securely managing information about their health. Researching the topic of PHR is essential because such applications allow patients to independently manage their health data, save funds, lessen the inconveniences associated with the standard routines of reporting information, as well as help medical care providers in getting an insight into personal health histories of patients quickly and easily. This paper will focus on exploring the purpose and benefits of personal health records, their value to patients, nurses, and other medical personnel. Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay

Example of Personal Health Records

Personal health records have been extensively used in the sphere of healthcare to encourage patients to take control of their health. Since they serve as portals that include extensive information about patients’ health, PHR can be used in a variety of instances ranging from documenting shot records to scheduling appointments based on health history. It is essential to note the largest advantage of PHR – they ease the pressure of always having health records on hand. As a rule, patients rarely have paper records when they need them, which means that electronic solutions make medical information available at any time via any device that has access to the Internet (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). For example, a patient that has arrived at the Emergency Room with severe pain in their abdomen can retrieve a PHR on a smartphone for the healthcare staff to assess whether the medical history points to a possible diagnosis during emergencies. Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay

Researchers have extensively studied various examples of PHR use to come up with conclusions about whether such applications were truly useful. The study by Lester, Boateng, Studeny, and Coustasse (2016) analyzed “the usefulness of PHRs from the perspectives of patients and providers” (p. 1). The researchers were skeptical of PHRs due to possible limitations in their use. For example, Lester et al. (2016) mentioned that patients were more comfortable with calling their health care providers on the phone because they did not understand how to use PHRs or protect their personal information efficiently. It was concluded that the lack of education for patients and healthcare providers could limit the use of PHR and lead to such risks as errors and misinterpretation of information. This conclusion points to the need to advance the use of technologies in the area of recording health data and educating patients on the basics of PHR use.Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay

On the bright side, Roehrs, da Costa, Righi, and de Oliveira (2017) suggested that the introduction of PHRs into communication procedures between patients and their healthcare providers would drive change and ensure better use of health data. The example of successful PHR use in practice is their role as mechanisms for making appointments through patients’ foresight of their health care issues based on the information that they learn via PHR. Overall, there are examples of both positive and negative implications of PHR use; however, through continuous engagement and education, patients and their healthcare providers can learn how to use PHRs to their advantage and optimize the process of care delivery based on patients’ health needs.Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay


Personal Experience

A personal experience that involves the use of personal health records is associated with the need for integrating technologies into patients’ routine procedures of their health data management. Several months ago, a 40-year old female patient contacted her local health care provider to report severe nausea, headaches, sleep deprivation, and overall fatigue. The health care provider was immediately confronted with the issue that the patient had moved from another country and could not provide any paper or electronic health records, which made the situation extremely complicated. Nurses had to conduct several health assessments with the patient as well as ask her to remember as much about her past diagnoses as possible to create a full picture of her health status. If the patient had knowledge about the proper use of PHRs, she would provide all the necessary information to her health care provider, thus avoiding the burden of remembering her health history. This experience showed that despite some limitations of PHRs, they could make the process of health care delivery faster and easier.Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay


In summary, it is important to mention that if used correctly, personal health records can arm patients and their healthcare providers with the necessary medical data to facilitate the quick delivery of care. Unfortunately, there is a large gap in education regarding patients’ awareness of PHR’s benefits. This means that health care providers should encourage their patients to take action and start recording their medical data not on paper but on devices that enable quick and easy access to health information. Overall, promoting the use of PHR is expected to increase patients’ awareness of their health and make the process of health management easier and more efficient. Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay


Lester, M., Boateng, S., Studeny, J., & Coustasse, A. (2016). Personal health records: Beneficial or burdensome for patients and healthcare providers? Perspectives in Health Information Management, 13, 1-12.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Personal health records and patient portals. Web.

Roehrs, A., da Costa, C. A., Righi, R. da R., & de Oliveira, K. S. F. (2017). Personal health records: A systematic literature review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(1), 13-27. Personal Health Records for Patients and Nurses Essay

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