And there is another argument here. A PHR could serve as a source of establishing a true longitudinal record. In the case of many middle- and upper-class patients — at least socioeconomically — this isn’t the biggest issue in the world. But in fact if you look at the medically-deprived population, often at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, those people don’t always get care the same way. The moment they have pain, they go to the nearest provider that will accept them. Their medical information is dispersed all over the place. If we had an effective way of moving some of that information into PHR accounts established for those people, it might in fact be the most consolidated record that they have.
You as the consumer are interested in controlling the flow of your data and expediting that flow when necessary. It actually eliminates a whole set of consent issues out there. Once you put the data into the PHR, you as the patient have the ability to distribute and control the distribution. You don’t have to sign consent forms anymore, which just introduces a delay and a bureaucratic step into moving your image around.