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ISSN: 2157-7420

Journal of Health & Medical Informatics
Open Access

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Review Article

Standards and Guidelines for Personal Health Records in the United States: Finding Consensus in a Rapidly Evolving and Divided Environment

Binh Q. Tran* and Pedro Gonzales

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Ave, NE ,Washington, DC 20064

*Corresponding Author:
Binh Q. Tran
Department of Biomedical Engineering
The Catholic University of America 620 Michigan Ave
NE Washington, DC 20064
Tel: (202)319-5181
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: November 28, 2011; Accepted date: January 21, 2012; Published date: January 26, 2012

Citation: Tran BQ, Gonzales P (2012) Standards and Guidelines for Personal Health Records in the United States: Finding Consensus in a Rapidly Evolving and Divided Environment. J Health Med Informat S6:001. doi: 10.4172/2157-7420.S6-001

Copyright: © 2012 Tran BQ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Health care spending in the U.S. over the past decade has dramatically increased over the past decade and is expected to rise to 20% of GDP in the United States by the end of the decade. In 2010, the U.S. Congress approved the Health Care Reform Act with a critical component of this legislation being the adoption of health information technologies (i.e. EMRs, EHRs, PHRs, etc.) aimed at transforming the health care system. Consumer-driven health care models are seen as essential to control the escalating costs of health care. The objective of this research is to canvas the landscape of existing standards and guidelines relating to electronic personal health records (PHRs) and to evaluate the level of adoption of these standards and guidelines amongst current vendors. Through this effort, we propose a consensus standard for PHRs consisting of 14 data components, 11 of which should be essential for all PHRs and 3 additional recommended data components. Through a survey of existing PHR vendors, we observe a low level of adoption of existing standards in commercially available PHR products and note a wide variation (36-73%) of inclusion of critical and desired data components. Further, we propose 4 key features and services based upon a review of the existing literature to facilitate consumer adoption and to improve usefulness of PHRs. By proposing a consensus standard for PHR data components and features, we seek to provide clarity to developers and vendors of HIT products to facilitate product development, interoperability, and integration and data exchange with existing EMR/EHR products

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