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Personal health records: Docs have 3 big doubts

Data management, changes to the patient relationship, and practice management issues are key barriers to implementation, doctors say in study.
Primary care physicians like the idea that personal health records will make healthcare data more portable and open up communications channels with patients, but they still have plenty of questions about data security, workloads, and how PHRs might change their relationships with patients, a new study says.

According to the study, an online exclusive for the journal Canadian Family Physician, family physicians are interested in the general concept of PHRs, but the technology needs to be integrated with electronic health records, easy to use, and add value to family practice before doctors will consider bringing PHRs into their practices.

Physicians generally believe that PHR adoption is "inevitable," and helpful to getting patients more engaged in their own care, researchers at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, reported. "However, participants consistently raised concerns about data management, changes to the patient-physician relationship, and practice management issues. These concerns were the three key barriers to the implementation and adoption of PHRs," they wrote.

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