Evaluation of the Personal Health Record Pilot for Medicare Fee-For Service Enrollees from South Carolina. Suggestions for PHR Developers.


“If the process isn’t time intensive, and the system is useful to me, I would be OK with entering in the information myself; I would prefer an auto-update system though.”


Ease of information entry.  NORC asked whether or not entering their own health information would contribute to a loss of some of the PHR utility, and beneficiaries were divided on this issue. Some speculated that they would enter their information into the PHR manually, even if this was a challenging activity for them. 

Medications Information.  Many beneficiaries suggested the PHR would be useful to them if their medication data was entered for them.  One beneficiary explained: “I think you could have, for those who aren’t on Part D, a means to input the medication.”  Most beneficiaries also indicated that the ability to access information on drug interactions would be very helpful.

Integration with Providers.  The overwhelming majority of beneficiaries believed the PHR would be the most valuable if doctors used it.  One participant noted: “I bring my physicians print outs of what I have researched online. It would be really helpful to bring a print out of my medication history, my lab visits, and my physician visits too. I think that way at least my doctor is completely informed.” 

Amount of Information.  The majority of beneficiaries agreed that they would want to have as much information as possible at hand, and some noted that the comprehensive, longitudinal medical record would be of particular use to them.  Some individuals indicated that they wanted to control who accessed the PHR. 

Time Span of Claims Information. Several participants suggested that a lifespan history would be useful. 

Trending of Lab Results.   Overall, participants would like to be able to see the results of their tests over time.

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