Your patient has a Personal Health Record… Now what?

 
Purpose
This week’s graded discussion topic relates to the following Course Outcomes (COs).

CO4 Investigate safeguards and decision-making support tools embedded in patient care technologies and information systems to support a safe practice environment for both patients and healthcare workers. (PO 4)
CO5 Identify patient care technologies, information systems, and communication devices that support safe nursing practice. (PO 5)

Discussion
Case Study: A 65-year-old woman was just been diagnosed with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was informed of this diagnosis in her primary care physician’s office. She leaves her physician’s office and goes home to review all of her tests and lab results with her family. She goes home and logs into her PHR. She is only able to pull up a portion of her test results. She calls her physician’s office with this concern. The office staff discussed that she had part of her lab work completed at a lab not connected to the organization, part was completed at the emergency room, and part was completed in the lab that is part of the doctor’s office organization.
The above scenario might be a scenario that you have commonly worked with in clinical practice. For many reasons, patients often receive healthcare from multiple organizations that might have different systems.
As you review this scenario, reflect and answer these questions for this discussion.

What are the pros and cons of the situation in the case study?
What safeguards are included in patient portals and PHRs to help patients and healthcare professionals ensure safety?
Do you agree or disagree with the way that a patient obtains Personal Health Records (PHRs)?
What are challenges for patients that do not have access to all of the PHRs? Remember, only portions of the EHRs are typically included in the PHRs.

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