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Personal Health Records

Empowering patients and healthcare providers (consumers and clinicians) with readily available health information will be an integral component of transforming our healthcare system. Many industry stakeholders consider the effective use of health information technology to be critical to improving healthcare quality and efficiency, decreasing cost and increasing access to care.

The Personal Health Record (PHR), in particular, is an important technology for consumer engagement and a key tool to enhance care coordination and improve patients' ability to make more informed health decisions. With the healthcare industry continuing to face challenges related to rising costs, lack of access to care and providing the right care at the right time, it is essential to educate consumers and healthcare providers on the value of personal health records.

To help ensure that individuals and providers understand the value of PHRs in enhancing care coordination, and to improve patients' involvement in their healthcare decisions, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association developed the PHR brochures in collaboration with:

  • American Cancer Society.
  • American College of Physicians.
  • American Diabetes Association.
  • American Health Information Management Association.
  • American Heart Association.
  • American Osteopathic Association of Medical Informatics.
  • Medical Group Management Association.

This detailed brochure includes PHR benefits, testimonials, screen examples and a glossary of terms. Two Web versions of the brochure are available, one for consumers and one for providers.

In addition to the brochure,  a two-page PHR Quick Reference Guide also is available, developed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in collaboration with the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association of Medical Informatics and the Medical Group Management Association. This PHR Guide is a handy summary for consumers and providers on the value of PHRs in better managing healthcare, and provides answers to common questions about PHR systems.

Two web-versions of the PHR guide are available: one for consumers and one for providers.


For more information about PHRs, visit these sites:

For your convenience, print versions of the two PHR Brochures and of the two PHR Guides are available for download as PDF files: