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Editorial
November 21, 2012

Personal Health Records and Health Care Utilization

Author Affiliations

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).

JAMA. 2012;308(19):2034-2036. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.68169

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.

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