On the Potential Role of Independent Personal Health Record Platforms in the Digitization and Sharing of Health Records
25 Pages Posted: 24 May 2009
Date Written: May 8, 2009
As the United States begins to put a lot of attention and resources into digitizing its healthcare sector, it is instructive to understand why the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) remains so poor when compared with many other developed countries. The 2009 stimulus bill provides significant incentives for providers to digitize their records, but unless the records are made interoperable, the full potential of EHR will never be realized. We posit that the emergence of the independent personal health record (PHR) platforms from organizations such as Microsoft and Google is a major development towards the cause of interoperable health records. Not only do these platforms have a vested interest in facilitating interoperability, but they also can help promote the adoption of EHR among healthcare providers. In a pluralistic healthcare system like that which exists in the United States, where healthcare providers lack the incentive for adopting EHR and government intervention is often not the preferable solution, we believe that PHRs should be the focus of the debate on achieving interoperability in the healthcare sector.
Keywords: electronic health records (EHR), personal health records (PHR), health information technology (HIT), interoperable EHR, national health information network (NHIN), switching costs
JEL Classification: I1, I1, D23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation