This paper examines existing research on the topic of personal health records (PHRs). Areas covered include PHR/patient portal, recordkeeping, preservation planning, access and provider needs for future reuse of health information. Patient and physician PHR use and functionality, as well as adoption facilitators and barriers, are also reviewed.
The paper engages in a review of relevant literature from a variety of subject domains, including personal information management, medical informatics, medical literature and archives and records management literature.
The review finds that PHRs are extensions of electronic records. In addition, it finds a lack of literature within archives and records management that may lead to a less preservation-centric examination of the new PHR technologies that are desirable for controlling the lifecycle of these important new records-type.
Although the issues presented by PHRs are issues that can best be solved with the use of techniques from records management, there is no current literature related to PHRs in the records management literature, and that offered in the medical informatics literature treats the stewardship aspects of PHRs as insurmountable. This paper offers an introduction to the aspects of PHRs that could fruitfully be examined in archives and records management.
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