Personal Health Records
A personal health record allows a patient to access, manage and share information about their health, in a private and confidential environment. When Mrs. Johnson was unable to recall for her heart medication, she logged in to her personal health record and got all the information from her physician.
PHRs enhance organization and make it possible for patients to receive results for tests taken during a visit to the doctor. Mrs. Johnson’s PHR listed all the medication she took. In addition, it had a list of drugs she was allergic to. She also received a message from her doctor with the results for her potassium test.
PHRs also minimize visits to the doctor. The information from the PHR saved Mrs. Johnson from going back to the doctor’s to confirm the number of pills she was supposed to take. It also saved her the time of collecting her potassium test results from the doctor.
The Unites States Department of Health and Human Services strengthened the health information security and protection. The move was to enhance protection of patient privacy and provide new rights to individuals regarding their health information. Initial HIPAA rules mainly focused on providers of healthcare, health plans and health insurance entities. However, the new rules also included business associates of health entities. This was done because many health breaches reported to the HHS involved these business associates. The maximum penalty for noncompliance was increased to $1.5 million. Individuals were given the right to receive their electronic medical records in e-form. They also had the right to instruct their healthcare provider not to share information about their treatment in their health plans. The new rules gave permission to parents and guardians to share immunization proof of their child with a school.
Appleby, Kristyn S and Joanne Tarver. Medical Records Review. New York: Aspen Publishers Online, 2006.
HHS. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 17 January 2013. http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/01/20130117b.html. 26 March 2013.