The Basics

Yes, there are two main kinds of personal health records (PHRs).

  • Standalone Personal Health Records: With a standalone PHR, patients fill in information from their own records, and the information is stored on patients' computers or the Internet. In some cases, a standalone PHR can also accept data from external sources, including providers and laboratories. With a standalone PHR, patients could add diet or exercise information to track progress over time. Patients can decide whether to share the information with providers, family members, or anyone else involved in their care.
  • Tethered/Connected Personal Health Records: A tethered, or connected, PHR is linked to a specific health care organization's electronic health record (EHR) system or to a health plan's information system. With a tethered PHR, patients can access their own records through a secure portal and see, for example, the trend of their lab results over the last year, their immunization history, or due dates for screenings.

For More Information

For more information on PHRs and the different types of PHRs, see the following resources.