AMA Updates PHR Policies

At its annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) amended its current policy regarding Personal Health Records to address concerns about the use of patient supplied data in a PHR:

  • “If the patient is allowed to make annotations to his or her EMR …. the annotation should be indicated as authored by the patient with sourcing information …. A permanent record of all allowed annotations and communications relevant to the ongoing medical care of the patient should be maintained as part of the patient’s record.”
  • “Physicians retain the right to determine which information they do and/or do not import from a PHR into their EHR/EMR and to set parameters based on the clinical relevance of data contained within personal health records.”
  • “Any data imported into a physician’s EMR/EHR from a patient’s personal health record (PHR) must preserve the source information of the original data and be further identified as to the PHR from which it was imported as additional source information to preserve an accurate audit trail.”

In addition, the AMA adopted a new policy to address the physician’s use of information contained in a PHR.  Specifically, this policy includes the following elements:

  • “To the extent that the physician chooses to review a PHR, the physician retains the right to exercise professional judgment in determining the clinical relevance of information contained within a PHR.
  • “The physician is responsible only for the use of PHR data that the physician has actively chosen to incorporate into the patient-physician relationship; conversely, the physician bears no responsibility for PHR data that the physician has not actively and specifically incorporated into the patient’s active medical care.”
  • “All data contained within a PHR must have accurate and verifiable attributions as to the originating source of the data.”

According to an article posted June 18th on, the delegates decided that “it was too early to call on Congress to pass legislation regulating still-evolving and little-used personal health records.”

The CMA has been quite active in promoting various technologies to digitize healthcare including, not surprisingly, EMRs.  It will be interested to see if they follow their American cousins and approve resolutions related to PHR use.


2 responses to “AMA Updates PHR Policies

  1. Nelson Shen

    Thanks for the update. These steps definitely address the issues that are raised by providers re: patient entered data accuracy. I like this idea of allowing physicians to access the PHR to upload onto the EMR/EHR; however, these provisions in policy are seemingly logical and somewhat obvious. It’s interesting how long it takes to get something so important pushed through.

    I guess the next question is how do we get physicians to take time out of their hectic schedules to review the patient entered data. Big step moving forward, but useless if it is irrelevant.

  2. Pingback: ICMCC News Page » AMA Updates PHR Policies

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