Katz, Ashley

Ashley Katz is the Executive Director of Patient Privacy Rights (PPR), a non-profit health privacy watchdog.

Think Twice Before You Use a Personal Health Record

By Ashley Katz
Patient Privacy Rights

If you are enthusiastic about managing your own health, you are the caretaker for your family’s health, or you just like to try out new technology you might have signed up for a Personal Health Record or “PHR”. A PHR can collect and store official records, labs, tests, and claims data directly deposited by providers.

A PHR can also store other health-related data such as heart rate, glucose levels, medications, allergies, exercise habits, lifestyle, sexual history, personal notes and other data you create. Most PHRS are online; some are programs that can be downloaded to your home computer. Many are free.

PHRs are designed for and marketed directly to you, the patient. You are most likely to be using a PHR right now if:

a) your employer offered it to you, or
b) your insurance company offered it to you.