The Patient Information Forum (PiF) has published a guide to Personal Health Records (PHRs), supported by a grant from Microsoft,  which highlights their benefits and sets out the challenges practitioners, managers, and patient organisations will face if they are to meet the government’s target of giving every patient access to their GP records by 2015.

A PHR is a patient-controlled copy of all the health information stored about them by health and social care organisations, to which they can add their own data. Paper examples such as women’s maternity notes and children’s Red Books already exist but the NHS Information Strategy has accelerated the drive towards online access.

The guide explores the benefits of PHRs from the perspective of patients and citizens, health and social care professionals, policy makers and commissioners. It also includes a wide range of UK and international case studies.

The guide was welcomed by health minister Lord Howe who said: “The publication of this resource from the Patient Information Forum comes at a time of exciting innovation and development for health records. The government’s recent information strategy for health and social care in England set out a vision where people are able to easily and routinely access, add to and share their health and care records electronically, helping them to take part in decisions about their own care. The development of PHRs is an example of an innovative approach to helping individuals take more control of their health and care and to work with professionals to help ensure ‘no decision about me without me.’”

To download a copy of the guide, and a summary, go to:

http://www.pifonline.org.uk/new-pif-guide-to-health-records-access

Posted by Howard

Content and Communities Manager, Microsoft UK