Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (Drs Bates and Wells); and Department of Health Care Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (Dr Bates).
Electronic personal health records (PHRs) are a new twist on an old concept. Traditionally, patients often collected their physicians' contact details, health-related reports, well-baby books, and specialist letters at home in a file cabinet or shoebox. With the wide availability of personal computers, these collections could go digital, providing patients with a summary of their health records and including the care they received. The intended goal was that patients might more actively manage their health care needs.
Bates DW, Wells S. Personal Health Records and Health Care Utilization. JAMA. 2012;308(19):2034-2036. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.68169