Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Nine Popular Personal Health Record Tools

Many of my blog posts emphasize the importance of communicating and  working well with one’s health care providers.
Personal health records(PHRs) can be great tools. They are increasingly seen as an integral part of healthcare reform.
Drawbacks include privacy and security concerns. However a PHR can help you keep track of medical data . They also can help you  communicate more effectively with health care providers through taking more responsibility and control of your healthcare.
The PHRs in the article below were selected because they were popular, so take care not to equate popular with “best”!
Some of the nine PHRs the article below are free to all, some are insurance based, and others are point-of-care based (as doctor’s offices.

Looking for basic information about health care records? Or additional information? Check out the Web sites below in Additional Resources and Related Articles

(I have yet to come across a Web site with a listing of free/low cost electronic personal health care record tools.
If anyone knows of one, I’d be happy to add it here)

Excerpt from 9 Popular Personal Health Care Record Tools (Information Week- Health Care [4/16/2012])

When 62-year old Mike Cooper, a former CEO, suffered a stroke, he turned to an online personal health record (PHR) tool to communicate with his doctors, schedule appointments, view lab and test results, and renew prescriptions from the comfort of his own home. “I have good information on which to base my decisions. The login procedure has a sign-in name and a password, and that really makes me makes me feel safe,” said Cooper, a patient of Sutter Health-affiliated Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) in Mountain View, CA.

For Nancy Andre, a busy mother of three young children, PAMF’s My Health Online PHR helps take the stress out of managing her children’s healthcare requirements. An online questionnaire, for example, is easier to respond to from home than a paper-based questionnaire in the doctor’s waiting room.

Albert Chan, MD, chief medical information officer at Palo Alto Medical Foundation Medical Group, based in Mountain View, CA, told InformationWeek Healthcare that 72% of PAMF’s adult patients use the My Health Online PHR service. Co-developed with Epic Systems Corporation, MyHealth Online is a customized version of Epic’s MyChart PHR application. Chan said that in addition to accessing data from a home computer, information is now available to patients via the iPhone or Android platforms. “This service to me is a way to really personalize the care experience for the patient,” Chan said. Cooper and Andre are among a growing number of consumers who are turning to PHRs as a way to keep track of their medical data, communicate with doctors, check for drug interactions, and schedule appointments…

Additional Resources

April 19, 2012 - Posted by | health care


  1. I’m in favor of PHRs, but only if they can be inclusive and comprehensive. I have one provider, part of a large group with many regional offices, who uses an online PHR system, but only for the physicians employed with that group. My regular family physician, whom we see more regularly, is not part of that group. It would be most useful to have all records associated with one patient available. The care of most people I know would be considered fragmented and not entirely from one provider group. Having a partially complete PHR is not useful.

    Comment by acroanmph | April 20, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you Amy, great points.

      Comment by Janice Flahiff | April 20, 2012 | Reply

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