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Patient Portal and PHR Info
PHR's and Patient Portals Examined

Export Option of PHI to Patient’s PHR Software: 10 of 10 Critical Features of Patient Portals


Patient portals typically allow access to EMR data at the organization hosting the portal.  The portal can also include access to things such as billing information, online scheduling, questionnaires, and much more.  The major shortcoming that most patient portals have is that they are tied to only one organization.  If a patient travels to many organizations for their healthcare they normally need to log into each organization’s portal to get access to their information.  This results in a fragmented view of their data.   Enter the PHR (personal health record)…

A PHR can be thought of as a holding tank for a patient’s health information.  A patient portal should not be thought of as a PHR unless it has the ability to import and export medical information from several different sources.  Since most patient portals are not PHR’s it is important that they have the ability to export data as a CCD/CCR  (Continuity of Care Record/Document).  The CCD can be imported into major PHR’s like Microsoft’s Healthvault, Epic’s Lucy, or Google Health.

It is a major convenience for patients to be able to take their information with them if they go to other organizations or move to a different location.  In addition patients like to have all their information in one place for ease of review.


When considering a patient portal product make sure it has the ability to export EMR data to a CCD/CCR.  PHR’s are still only used by a small percentage of patients, but as more and more features become available, and as healthcare organizations fully move into the electronic world, the need for PHR integration is critical for all patient portals.

Questions to Ask

To Vendors

Does your product export CCD’s/CCR’s?

Does your portal fully populate the CCD/CCR?

If not, what sections of the CCD/CCR are left out?

NOTE: Many vendors do not populate the CCD/CCR fully. This is especially true when dealing with lab/test results. Make sure you check this with your vendor.

For Patients

Can I export my information to my PHR?

What data is included in the CCD/CCR?

Posted by Aaron Carlock on November 9th, 2009 :: Filed under Choosing a Patient Portal
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