Personal Health Records – Patient Concerns

Personal Health Records – Patient Concerns

In this writing assignment, you will write a one- to two-page paper in which you describe concerns in managing a personal health record.

Step 1 Read the scenario:

· Cindy is a 57-year-old single female who works as a graphic designer at a midsized paper manufacturer. She describes herself as being very shy and private. She weighs 358 lbs and is 5′ 8″ tall. She has recently lost her mother and is greatly concerned about improving her own health. She has been diagnosed with the following conditions: type II diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.


· For each condition, she sees a different provider in a different healthcare institution. However, all the institutions are affiliated with a large regional healthcare system. Cindy takes five prescription medications for her conditions and fills them at three different pharmacies, each located near one of her providers. In the past, she has kept her medical records in a box in her closet. She has become frustrated with the lack of communication between her providers and her relationship with them.

Step 2 Include responses to the following questions when you write your paper:

· What benefits do personal health records (PHRs) bring to patients?

· What concerns do personal health records (PHRs) bring to patients?

· What concerns do you envision Cindy having with adopting a PHR?

· Do you feel those concerns outweigh the benefits of adopting a PHR? Why or why not?

· How could these barriers be overcome?

· Where would Cindy seek guidance in adopting a PHR?

· Given the facts of this scenario of multiple health providers, multiple prescriptions, multiple pharmacies, and no PHR, how many potential points of failure exist in the overall care of this patient? Will a PHR help eliminate all or even some of these points of failure?

Cite any sources in APA, 7th edition with links to websites included.


Managing Personal Health Records: Addressing Patient Concerns

Cindy, a 57-year-old single female, faces various challenges in managing her health due to her multiple health conditions, numerous healthcare providers, and scattered medical records. Transitioning to a Personal Health Record (PHR) system could offer potential benefits but also raises significant concerns.

Benefits of Personal Health Records (PHRs) for Patients:

  1. Centralized Access: PHRs provide a centralized platform for storing and accessing medical information from different healthcare providers and institutions, promoting convenience and efficiency in managing one’s health (American Medical Association [AMA], 2021).
  2. Improved Communication: PHRs facilitate better communication between patients and healthcare providers, enhancing coordination of care and ensuring comprehensive understanding of medical history and treatment plans (, n.d.).
  3. Enhanced Patient Empowerment: By allowing patients to actively engage in their healthcare management, PHRs promote patient empowerment, autonomy, and informed decision-making (AMA, 2021).

Concerns Regarding Personal Health Records (PHRs) for Patients:

  1. Privacy and Security: Patients like Cindy may have concerns about the privacy and security of their sensitive health information stored electronically, fearing unauthorized access or data breaches (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2020).
  2. Technical Challenges: Adoption of PHRs may pose technical challenges, such as navigating unfamiliar digital platforms or encountering interoperability issues between different healthcare systems (NIH, 2020).
  3. Digital Divide: Individuals with limited digital literacy or access to technology may face barriers in effectively utilizing PHRs, exacerbating health disparities (AMA, 2021).

Cindy’s Potential Concerns with Adopting a PHR:

  1. Privacy and Confidentiality: Given Cindy’s shyness and preference for privacy, she may be apprehensive about entrusting her health information to an electronic platform, fearing potential breaches or unauthorized access.
  2. Complexity and Technical Challenges: Cindy’s lack of familiarity with digital platforms and her frustration with the current disjointed healthcare system may lead her to perceive PHRs as overly complex or challenging to navigate.
  3. Lack of Guidance: Without prior exposure to PHRs, Cindy may feel uncertain about how to adopt and effectively utilize such a system to manage her health effectively.

Balancing Concerns with Benefits:

While Cindy’s concerns are valid, the potential benefits of adopting a PHR, such as improved communication, centralized access to medical records, and enhanced empowerment, may outweigh these concerns. With proper guidance and support, Cindy can navigate the transition to a PHR system effectively.

Overcoming Barriers to PHR Adoption:

  1. Education and Training: Providing comprehensive education and training on PHRs, tailored to Cindy’s needs and preferences, can help alleviate concerns and build confidence in utilizing the system (NIH, 2020).
  2. Enhanced Privacy Measures: Implementing robust privacy and security measures within PHR platforms, coupled with clear policies on data access and sharing, can address Cindy’s privacy concerns and promote trust in the system (AMA, 2021).
  3. Interoperability Solutions: Advocating for improved interoperability among healthcare systems and PHR platforms can mitigate technical challenges and ensure seamless exchange of information between Cindy’s providers and pharmacies (, n.d.).

Seeking Guidance in PHR Adoption:

Cindy can seek guidance in adopting a PHR from various sources, including her healthcare providers, patient advocacy organizations, and online resources specifically tailored to PHR education and support (NIH, 2020).

Potential Points of Failure and PHR Impact:

In Cindy’s current scenario of multiple providers, pharmacies, and scattered medical records, numerous potential points of failure exist, including miscommunication, medication errors, and incomplete medical histories. While a PHR may not eliminate all points of failure, it can significantly reduce them by centralizing information, enhancing communication, and promoting collaboration among Cindy’s healthcare team (, n.d.).

In conclusion, while adopting a PHR entails addressing valid concerns, the benefits it offers in terms of improved communication, centralized access to medical records, and enhanced patient empowerment make it a valuable tool in managing one’s health effectively. With proper education, support, and privacy measures in place, Cindy can overcome barriers and navigate the transition to a PHR system successfully.


American Medical Association. (2021). Patient Rights: Access and control over personal health information. Retrieved from (n.d.). Personal Health Records (PHRs). Retrieved from

National Institutes of Health. (2020). MyHealthEData. Retrieved from

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