The AMA has released the final version of its guide for doctors on how to use the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR).
The AMA Guide to Using the PCEHR, which has been developed in close consultation with practitioners, is available here.
It provides information and guidance to help medical practitioners decide whether or not to participate in the PCEHR system, and explains how they might use the PCEHR in their day-to-day practice.
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said the AMA supports patients taking responsibility for their own health, and giving them control of their health information could help encourage them to do so.
But Dr Hambleton warned that, by putting patients in the driver’s seat in terms of managing their health information, the PCEHR also limited its own clinical usefulness for medical practitioners, because of concerns about the content, accuracy, and accessibility of information in the system.
He added that medical practices would also have to make significant investments of time and money to meet all of the PCEHR’s legal obligations. This would include changes to clinical and administrative workflows, and practices would have to draw up new operational policies and protocols to comply with the PCEHR legislation.
While these limitations and start-up costs are real, the PCEHR holds the promise of reducing adverse events and duplication of treatments. With the right system and the right support, the PCEHR can help doctors to improve the patient health care experience.
As important aspects of the PCEHR are finalised, including the ability to integrate with practice software, the PCEHR should become a valuable addition to quality health care.
The AMA will continue to work to ensure that the best possible PCEHR is available for patients and health professionals.
The AMA Guide to Using the PCEHR, which has been prepared with the cooperation of the National Electronic Health Transition Authority, will help doctors get a better understanding of what is involved when they are considering using the PCEHR system, and assist them in making a more informed decision about participating.
The guide was circulated in a draft version earlier this year for feedback from doctors and comments received have been incorporated into the final version. The draft guide is available here.