What are the benefits of personal health records?

They can help consumers and providers.

 
Patient-facing health information technology (HIT) platforms, such as personal health records (PHRs) and web portals, can help engage patients in their own health care, increasing their chances of bettering the quality of their care and their health outcomes.
 
 
A personal health record is controlled by the patient and houses information from electronic health records, pharmacies, patient-entered data, etc. PHRs come in three forms: 
 
Free-standing—owned by the patient and typically hosted on an Internet-based platform, it is not officially associated with any other record; 
Tethered—hosted by one’s health care provider and linked to his or her electronic health record;
Sponsored—provided by a patient’s employer or insurer and generally populated with information based on claims data.
 
Value of PHRs to Consumers
Are portable and accessible anywhere
Can share PHI with friends/family/caregivers/other providers
Are a platform for personal health applications (mobile apps) for health improvement, decision-making about quality providers/services, and to support personalized medicine
Document alternative/complimentary therapies and supplements
Enable remote monitoring (e.g., BP, hemoglobin A1c), smoking cessation efforts, etc.
 
Value of PHRs to Both Consumers and Providers 
Offer immediate access to PHI, especially in emergencies
Promote greater patient engagement in care, prevention, collaborative self-management, and shared decision-making
Increase safety of care/prevention of medical errors and reduce unnecessary test duplication
Improve medication management and monitoring