EHR/EMR

HL7 publishes draft PHR standards

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The standardisation of Personal Health Records (PHRs) received a boost with the international healthcare IT standards body, Health Level Seven (HL7) publishing a Personal Health Record System Functional Model (PHR-S FM) as a draft standard for trial use.According to HL7, the PHR-S FM defines the set of functions that may be present in PHR systems to create and manage an effective PHR. It also offers guidelines that facilitate health information exchange among different PHR systems and between PHR and EHR systems. The draft standard is available for download from the HL7 website.The PHR functional draft model standard allows the medical industry worldwide to work with a fixed standard for up to two years while it is in the process of being built into an American National Standards Institute-accredited version.According to HL7, when consumers select PHR systems for their use, they can begin requesting standards-based functionality, and vendors can begin incorporating the model’s requirements into their products. In addition, organisations that certify PHR systems can begin evaluating the model’s conformity criteria for certification testing purposes. The US Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology has worked with parts of the standard previously. The US Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services have also used components of the PHR-S FM as requirements for its PHR pilot demonstration projects.HL7 says that the functional model “was developed with broad stakeholder input.” It can thus be applied to specific PHR models like stand-alone, web-based, provider-based, payer-based, or employer-based.One of the profiles developed within the PHR-S FM is targeted at health authorities. It provides a list of capabilities a health authority such as a county or state public health or behavioural health agency, should consider when selecting or developing a PHR-S. All registered profiles are available to the public through a searchable registry at www.nist.gov/profileregistry.

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