Mayo Clinic launches PHR

The system will operate on the Microsoft HealthVault platform, allowing patients from outside Mayo to develop personal health records.

By Pamela Lewis Dolan — Posted May 13, 2009

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The Mayo Clinic announced the launch of a new personal health record system that will be available to anyone, including those who are not Mayo patients. Those involved with the project say the system, powered by Microsoft HealthVault, could also carry benefits for non-Mayo physicians.

Data can be imported from multiple sources, including those outside Mayo, to help build a health information resource specific to each patient. Health Vault also allows data to be exported out of the system, e-mailed or printed to be shared with whomever the patient chooses, including his or her primary care physician.

Sidna Tulledge-Scheitel, MD, MPH, medical director of Mayo Clinical Global Products and Services, said the personalized service will remind patients of needed exams, tests or vaccines, which can help busy primary care offices. "It's really hard for us to dedicate staff to be setting up proactive reminders even though we would love to do that."

Overall, Dr. Tulledge-Scheitel said, the system is "really intended more for patients. It's not a diagnostic tool."

The launch of Mayo's system came days after Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston announced it would stop sending claims data to patients' Google Health accounts due to the possibility that the data contain errors. The move reignited the debate over whether PHRs can contain too much data that is not useful to physicians, or dangerous for them to rely on.

Mayo's system will allow the import of claims data through Health Vault, but Mayo's physicians will likely not use it, the organization said. Other patients and their physicians can choose whether the information is relevant enough to be kept.

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