BOSTON — Personal health records may attain greater consumer acceptance with consumers than electronic health records, said Robert Burg, vice president, business development, Medem, West Chester, Pa. This type of record is predicted to improve patient care by giving all health care professionals, whether physician or pharmacy, access to complete, accurate information. However, while electronic health records are typically controlled by single entities, like health providers or insurers, personal health records belong to the consumer, and big Internet companies like Google and Yahoo are interested in making them available, Burg said in a presentation here this week at the Pharmacy and Technology Conference of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Alexandria, Va. Many consumers are mistrustful of others controlling their health information and records owned by a single provider or payer, are less likely to be shared by physicians, insurers and pharmacies, he said. As a result, they have not been widely embraced. “Consumers engaged in their own care will create a driving force to fundamentally change health care as has occurred in other industries,” Burg said. While personal health records will belong to the individual, Burg expects employers to become more involved and ask insurance companies to provide them.
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