Designing patient-centered personal health records (PHRs): health care professionals' perspective on patient-generated data

J Med Syst. 2012 Dec;36(6):3893-905. doi: 10.1007/s10916-012-9861-z. Epub 2012 May 30.


Currently, patients not only want access to various medical records their health care providers keep about them, but they also are willing to become active participants in managing their own health information and the health information of the ones they care for. Personal health records were developed to help fulfill this need. Health care professionals are instrumental in the successful adoption of PHRs. Nevertheless, a full understanding of different health care practitioners' views of PHRs, including how PHRs could fit into the existing health care system, is lacking. The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate PHRs from the perspective of health care professionals. Twenty-one practitioners with 10 different specialties were interviewed. The results suggest that although PHRs were still a novel concept to the study participants, a majority of them did value information provided by patients and would recommend that patients keep such records. Participants with different specialties tended to look for different types of information to be included in PHRs, and wished the information to be presented in ways that supported their work, as well as supported knowledge discovery. The participants also expressed a need to share patient information, but had various concerns about sharing. The implications of the results of the study in regard to the design of future PHR systems are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Health Records, Personal*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Male
  • Patient Access to Records
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • United States