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Carriers Should Heed Advantages of Personal Health Record Over Institution-Centric Alternatives

For providers and payers of medical services, relying on PHR is about the difference between utilizing resources for unnecessary diagnosis and intervention, and the opportunity to pursue quality, efficient, and economically appropriate care - from first responders to fast track triage at emergency departments.

By Ron Ribitzky, M.D., My LifePlan, Inc.

At its core, a PHR is a person-centric, individual-controlled aggregation of one's health information. In that, it is fundamentally different from the institution-centric electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR), and is now gaining momentum as an accepted use of technology to overcome the many information gaps in our healthcare system. For insurance carriers, the bottom line about PHR and related technologies is the following:• The opportunity to drive down Medical Loss Ratio because of the role of PHR in driving wellness, disease prevention, and slow down of clinical progression through strategic and proactive care.

• The opportunity to drive down the cost of medical emergencies by closing the medical emergency information gap.

• The opportunity to reduce the number and scope of emergency care related malpractice claims because first responders and emergency department clinicians can rely on information that otherwise they may not have when they need it the most.

For providers and payers of medical services, relying on PHR is about the difference between utilizing resources for unnecessary diagnosis and intervention, and the opportunity to pursue quality, efficient, and economically appropriate care - from first responders to fast track triage at emergency departments and more.

Indeed, the scope of PHR systems grows beyond a reactive documentation of disease and treatment. PHR evolved into an interactive wellness and prevention platform. As such, it makes predictive and proactive medicine possible, and strategic value-driven care actionable. Users of PHR are taking steps to improve their own health and making sure their information is correct. They look at test results, renew their prescriptions online, or communicate online with their healthcare providers.

In a medical emergency, an individually controlled PHR can close the medical emergency information gap in the healthcare system that is broken. Every second there are 8 calls to 9-1-1 from somewhere in the U.S. and 4 visits to Emergency Departments.

When every second counts, providing vital medical information to first responders and emergency medicine providers can make the difference between life and death, or between complete recovery and life-long disability.

More sectors are entering the PHR market as adoption of PHR is on the rise.

Digital health consumers enjoy a growing range of choices between commercial products to PHRs being offered to them by healthcare provider organizations, independent physicians, private insurers, employers, and even Medicare.

About the Author:Ron Ribitzky, M.D. is chief medical informatics officer, My LifePlan, Inc.For providers and payers of medical services, relying on PHR is about the difference between utilizing resources for unnecessary diagnosis and intervention, and the opportunity to pursue quality, efficient, and economically appropriate care - from first responders to fast track triage at emergency departments.

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