Electronic Health Record (EHR)

An EHR is generated by a health care provider to document patients’ medical and health information on a continuing basis. It may contain demographic data, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports. The EHR can support clinical activities including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting. It can automate and streamline the clinician’s workflow. An EHR is not directly accessed by patients, although certain data may be made available through a patient portal.

Patient Portal

A patient portal is a secure online website through a medical organization that gives patients 24-hour access to limited personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection. Using a secure username and password, patients can view health information such as recent doctors visit, discharge summaries, lab information, and medication.

Personal Health Record (PHR)

A PHR is owned and controlled by the individual patient (or proxy), and may have information that is not contained in a medical record. It is used for managing health information, promoting health maintenance, and assisting with chronic disease management. Common e-health tools focus on health information, behavior change/prevention, and self-management. This model is consumer-centric in the sense that health information is collected and stored independently of an individual’s relationship with any particular clinician, health plan, or employer.