Provider organizations have to address several critical issues when launching personal health records (PHR) projects, one consultant says. Among those issues, he says, is whether to enable patients to access a complete electronic health record (EHR) and export it to a PHR—a step that John Moore, managing partner of Chilmark Research, Cambridge, Mass., advocates.

Hospitals and clinics also must decide what data elements are most essential to a PHR. Although many agree that medication lists and allergies must be in a PHR, providers are pondering whether to include all lab tests as well as diagnostic images, Moore notes.

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