Embracing a Health Services Research Perspective on Personal Health Records: Lessons Learned from the VA My HealtheVet System
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Personal health records (PHRs) are designed to help people manage information about their health. Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of PHRs, but research regarding their effects on clinical, behavioral, and financial outcomes remains limited. The potential for PHRs to facilitate patient-centered care and health system transformation underscores the importance of embracing a broader perspective on PHR research.
Drawing from the experiences of VA staff to evaluate the My HealtheVet (MHV) PHR, this article advocates for a health services research perspective on the study of PHR systems.
We describe an organizing framework and research agenda, and offer insights that have emerged from our ongoing efforts regarding the design of PHR-related studies, the need to address PHR data ownership and consent, and the promotion of effective PHR research collaborations.
These lessons are applicable to other PHR systems and the conduct of PHR research across different organizational contexts.