About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Do PHRs improve health outcomes?

Do personal health records make you healthier?

It's question many people--insurers, doctors, patients--want to have answered. A recent story by AP medical correspondent Lauren Neergaard explores recent attempts to determine which, if any, records result in improved health outcomes.

From the story:

"It's not about a PHR in every pot. It's about PHRs that make a difference," says Dr. Jon White, health technology chief for the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

So his agency is funding four unique projects around the country — in California, Georgia, Iowa and Virginia — to compare whether patients randomly assigned to use strong PHRs fare better than their counterparts who don't go digital. The studies will measure such things as improvement of chronic diseases, use of cancer screenings and immunizations, and proper medication use.

The Medical College of Georgia, for example, will track 720 patients with high blood pressure. Half will get standard care. Half will be taught to use a PHR that links directly to the health system's own records plus allowing patients to record daily blood pressure, diet and other lifestyle factors and e-mail doctors.

Results aren't due for a few years. Meantime, here's an excellent blog post from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that explores recent issues regarding use of PHRs.

No comments: