Information Gap

Can Health Insurer Personal Health Records Meet Patients' and Physicians' Needs?

Personal health records (PHRs), centralized places for people to electronically store and organize their health information, can benefit both patients and doctors. This qualitative study of health insurers’ PHRs for enrollees reveals potential benefits and challenges. Insurers’ ability to put claims-based data into the PHR offers an advantage. However, consumers are concerned about sharing personal health information with insurers and about Internet security. Physicians question (1) the validity of claims data in making treatment decisions and (2) whether accessing these PHRs is worth the disruptions to their workflow. This paper offers possible solutions that may lead to more widespread adoption of insurer PHRs.