Personal Health Records - What's Their Value?

Assessing the value of personal health records to patients, providers and other stakeholders

From October 2006 to February 2008, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, working with a subcontractor, conducted eight focus groups to assess attitudes toward electronic personal health records and other emerging and future electronic health information technologies.

The focus groups involved diverse populations of consumers, including individuals with chronic illnesses and their caregivers, as well as with health providers and other professionals.

Key Findings:

  • Patients want complete access to their medical records and see them as a way to become more involved in their own care.
  • Patients are willing to accept some compromises to privacy in the interests of making medical records transparent.
  • Medical professionals have very similar views as patients on electronic personal health records, although they are more concerned about patient privacy issues.