Personal health records
Canadian experts analyze PHRs, patient
VANCOUVER CanadianEMR has posted
its latest in a series of podcasts at
www.canadianemr.ca, this time on
the high-profile topics of Personal Health Records and Patient Portals.
A national group of panelists debated the benefits and challenges
associated with these recent developments. As health systems migrate
towards electronic health records, personal health records have gained
increasing prominence. Software giants Microsoft and Google have each
released their respective PHRs, and a variety of additional players in
Canada have emerged, including Telus.
With all of this information being collected and shared in PHRs, privacy
concerns have surfaced. Can Google and Microsoft be trusted with your
most private information? Would the insurance and pharmaceutical
industries not want access to confidential patient data?
On the other hand, is the Personal Health Record a more logical and
safer approach to the management of confidential information, compared
with the large Electronic Health Records systems that are being created
at the provincial or regional levels?
Participants in the roundtable included:
Dr. Ann Cavoukian - Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
Dr. Jay Mercer - Family Physician
and Senior Physician Advisor, Canadian Medical Association, Ottawa,
Sam Marafioti - Chief Information
Officer at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto
Dr. David Wiljer - Director of
Knowledge Management and Innovation at the Princess Margaret Hospital in
Guest Questions were posed by:
Michael Martineau: What rights do patients have to access their own
personal health data (in whatever format)? If this data is stored
electronically, do they have a right to request an electronic copy or
electronic access? Could a private company providing a PHR service
request access to a patients personal health information (in whatever
format) if authorized to do so by the patient?
Nancy Gabor: It has been said that if physicians are forced to share
EMR information with patients (via their PHR or otherwise), they are
likely to document less information, or keep a separate record for
internal use. Please comment on the issue of liability with regards to
sharing EMR data with patients, and what you see as an appropriate
solution to this issue.
Eric Gombrich: A patient undergoing chemo for a confirmed lymphoma may
want, and their physician may agree to allow them, to see the latest
biopsy findings. However, the MD for a patient who is highly volatile
with an undefined mass may not want that patient to see the biopsy
results. How are we to control this? Is it through the PHR or the EMR?
For the complete Q&A, listen to the podcast at
Posted Jan. 14, 2010