Regulatory Legal and Ethical Issues Involved in PHR

A quality and successful healthcare is based on customer satisfaction and improvement in the positive outcomes of the patient. Due to the thriving trends in technology in healthcare, there is client empowerment. The sick individuals tend to look for the best medical care available, and at times, the healthcare system is forced to upgrade to the latest technology in the attempt to improve its services. However, patients get confused in keeping up with different health care providers. They are also expected to produce their health history, treatments, lab results, and previous diagnostic tests done when they visit a new and different healthcare provider. Thus, repeat tests and data loss incurred in the process of changing between providers increases the medical costs for the patients.

The Solution and Rationale

The goal of the technological solution is to provide patients with easy access to their comprehensive health background, diagnostic tests, and diagnosis. Clients deserve to have an organized system that provides, their wellbeing history, wellbeing education, and easy access to different healthcare specialists (Lee, 2017). Thus, the best and most appropriate system in the personal health records (PHR) system, can provide stress-free accessibility and help in the betterment of patient outcomes by reducing fragmentation of care. It will also decrease the service costs since they will not have to repeat some of the tests done by a different provider.

Summary of Benefits

Designing appropriate PHR systems can have many benefits for both the provider and the patient. For instance, one or multiple databases can be used in the storage of health background data. The easy access reduces patient frustrations as they will not have to wait for a caregiver to retrieve their history. Personal health records have other benefits, such as medication refills and payment of medical bills. It also saves labor that could have been used in the retrieval of the information (Lee, 2017). Thus, the system can save time for both the health care provider and the patient.

Regulatory Legal and Ethical Issues involved in PHR

Protection of the Patient’s Privacy

Information entered into an internet database or kind of a website has to go through a third party. This may compromise patient’s privacy. Hence, the data has to be blocked from third-party cookies. When designing a PHR system, protection of patient health information should be the first priority. The legal issues regarding the safety of PHI including the safeguarding of HIPAA regulations should also be observed (Shenoy & Appel, 2017). For instance, to expect older people to use iPad could be seen as discrimination.

Documentation of Related Issues

The above system will have progress note templates that allow direct transfer of medical tests. Consequently, the providers may face liabilities in the importation of some clinical notes not within their purview since they have to electronically provide their signature. Therefore, the providers are held accountable for an issue not within their jurisdiction and they can have legal implications. Additionally, documentation using macros and copy-paste may raise issues on what is eligible for billing by the insurance companies (Lee, 2017). Therefore, electronic record keeping has many advantages but it also has some challenges as well.

HIPAA, HON, and FTC Legal Issues

These issues include poor protection of the privacy procedures due to inadequate policies and anonymity. Special care should be made to the adherence of Health on Net (HON) code of conduct that protects users in the implementation of any health care technology that is interactive. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan Act of the year 2009, there was a major ruling to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by Congress. The directive was about the use of electronic health information and the devices allowed to access the information. The regulation requires the designers of PHR to notify FTC, the potential customers, and HIPAA for the safeguarding of confidentiality. Privacy also needs consultation between the FTC and the Department of Human Sciences (Sayeed et al., 2020). Therefore, implementation of the above legislation guarantees protection of patient privacy.


Lee, L. M. (2017). Ethics and subsequent use of electronic health record data. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 71, 143-146.

Sayeed, R., Jones, J., Gottlieb, D., Mandel, J. C., & Mandl, K. D. (2020). A proposal for shoring up Federal Trade Commission protections for electronic health record-connected consumer apps under 21st Century Cures. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 28(3), 640-645.

Shenoy, A., & Appel, J. M. (2017). Safeguarding Confidentiality in Electronic Health Records. Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics: CQ: The International Journal of Healthcare Ethics Committees, 26(2), 337-341. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, August 26). Regulatory Legal and Ethical Issues Involved in PHR. Retrieved from


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1. NursingBird. "Regulatory Legal and Ethical Issues Involved in PHR." August 26, 2022.


NursingBird. "Regulatory Legal and Ethical Issues Involved in PHR." August 26, 2022.