A review of PHR, EMR and EHR integration: A more personalized healthcare and public health policy

Tsipi Heart, Ofir Ben-Assuli, Itamar Shabtai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Objective To review and present the relationship and need for integrating EMR, EHR and PHR data, by highlighting its use and value challenges and threats. Method Critical overview of the literature. Results Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are used by physicians to improve quality of care and contain costs. Whereas EMR is usually considered an internal organizational system, the EHR is defined as an inter-organizational system. Recently, a computerized platform for patient-centered medical care known as Personal health records (PHR) was introduced, as an enabler for self-management of medical records. PHRs are online systems used by patients. Their transparency of information should lead to better informed and engaged patients. PHR, EMR and EHR can reside on different platforms under various technologies and standards. Although EMR contains local information and provides fast and accurate delivery, the major advantage of EHR in medical practice is the availability of cross-provider medical information. Patient-centered health initiatives such as PHR enable the integration of the prime information components in the EMR and the EHR systems. Conclusion This integration of medical information combines demographic, lifestyle and behavioral data with health records, thus providing a comprehensive view that coincides with the definition of patient-centered medical care. It can lead to a dramatic amelioration in personalized care as well as public health decision-making, resulting in improved health and wellness, but also poses serious challenges and threats to security and privacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • EHR
  • EMR
  • Integration
  • PHR
  • Patient centered care
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Policy


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