Building a personal health record from a nursing perspective

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Int J Med Inform

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of medical informatics

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



OBJECTIVE: A complex set of needs--increased accessibility to and interest in health information, more respect for patients' rights, advanced information technologies, and pressure to seek cost-effective healthcare delivery--made the personal health record (PHR) necessary. Nursing, as essential to healthcare, must be represented in a PHR, but few studies have explored the nurse's role in the development and expansion of the PHR. The aim of this project was to design and develop an Internet-based PHR, IowaPHR, in order to demonstrate how nursing can be integrated into the PHR. METHODS: In addition to the common features of the PHR as detailed by previous studies, IowaPHR contains the following innovations: (1) the information embraces major community health concerns; (2) an interactive feature--the self-assessment and feedback field--was created by transforming a standardized nursing language into appropriate questions adjusted for consumer vocabulary level; and (3) a user-friendly interface was equipped with trends in health conditions and a diary function. This PHR was then evaluated by experts in terms of content, ease of navigation, time needed to complete tasks, ability to find desired information, and site presentation. RESULTS: In the evaluation of this PHR, experts assigned high scores to four items. Completion of the tasks took an average of 16.25 min. CONCLUSION: Allowing self- or caregivers to observe health conditions through completion of the questions on our PHR will precisely address clinic visitors' health problems, assist in planning interventions, and promote education of and empowerment for health care. This PHR will provide a new way for nursing informatics to enhance the capacity of nursing in consumer health and to make a difference in the larger context of health informatics.


Humans, Medical Records Systems, Computerized/organization & administration, Nurse's Role, Nursing Care, Nursing Informatics, Software, Task Performance and Analysis, User-Computer Interface

Published Article/Book Citation

International journal of medical informatics, 76 Suppl 2: (2007) pp.S308-16. DOI:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2007.05.010.

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