Skip to content Skip to navigation

More Healthcare Orgs. Using Integrated EHRs to Populate PHRs

March 16, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
More healthcare organizations are relying on integrated electronic health record (EHR) data to populate personal health records (PHRs), a new survey found. 
The data comes from a survey on Blue Button utilization from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a Reston, Va.-based nonprofit. WEDI surveyed 274 organizations, including providers, health plans, vendors, and clearinghouses to determine on Blue Button progress. Blue Button represents the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's (ONC) movement to get consumers to easily view their health information. The button itself, which links to a personal health record, was piloted by the Department of Veterans Affairs a few years back and had a good deal of success
In the latest survey, a follow up from 2013, WEDI found that 66 percent of respondents use an integrated EHR to populate its PHR. This is up from 54 percent in 2013. The number of government organizations doing this rose significantly from 60 percent to 100 percent. Other health data sets; for example, claims data and patient-entered data, were not as frequently used in 2014 to populate PHRs as they were in 2013.
Most healthcare organizations are making PHRs available to all patients rather than a subset and like 2013, most are making patients opt-in to get access. The types of PHRs remain divided between custom made products, vendor-supplied products, and products vendors created that are customized. 
The survey found that most organizations transmitting data to patients, providers or authorized third parties are doing it through DIRECT. Health plan and provider respondents especially have both showed an increase in use of DIRECT for transmitting data.
"It is clear through our findings that usage and adoption of personal health records continues to grow among industry stakeholders and awareness of Blue Button+ is slowly building,” WEDI President and CEO Devin Jopp, Ed.D. said in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 


Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.

AHRQ Developing New Patient Safety Surveillance Tool

With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.

Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.