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Dealing with Doctors' Reluctance Toward PHR

Greg Freeman, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2011

Physicians also can be protective of patient data, with good intentions, Martich says. They don’t like the idea of lab results, for instance, being shared directly with the patient without the doctor being able to explain what they mean. The results in the PHR must be accompanied by an explanation of what the results mean, possibly with a link to a more detailed discussion, Miller says.

 “They’re worried that the patient is going to get horrific news without the doctor first being able to review it, refine it, and present it in the best way,” Martich says. “That concern is understandable, but it really has not been a problem.”

Reliability of the information in the PHR is key, Miller says. Early experiences with PHR models have shown that physicians will not trust any model that depends on the patient entering data. It is far too easy to enter incorrect or incomplete data, she says, and that is why the tethered model is the key to success with a PHR. Physician adoption also depends on the PHR being integrated in such a way that it is automatically generated through the EMR, she says.

 “It is unrealistic to expect a provider to go outside of their work flow and log in to a disparate system,” Miller says.

—Greg Freeman

This article appears in the November 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

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