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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2008 Nov 6:343-7.

The value of personal health record (PHR) systems.

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  • 1Center for Information Technology Leadership (CITL), Partners HealthCare System, Boston, MA, USA.


Personal health records (PHRs) are a rapidly growing area of health information technology despite a lack of significant value-based assessment.Here we present an assessment of the potential value of PHR systems, looking at both costs and benefits.We examine provider-tethered, payer-tethered, and third-party PHRs, as well as idealized interoperable PHRs. An analytical model was developed that considered eight PHR application and infrastructure functions. Our analysis projects the initial and annual costs and annual benefits of PHRs to the entire US over the next 10 years.This PHR analysis shows that all forms of PHRs have initial net negative value. However, at the end of 10 years, steady state annual net value ranging from$13 billion to -$29 billion. Interoperable PHRs provide the most value, followed by third-party PHRs and payer-tethered PHRs also showing positive net value. Provider-tethered PHRs constantly demonstrating negative net value.

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