A 65-year-old woman was recently diagnosed with non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s at Stage 3. In her primary care physician’s office, she was informed of her diagnosis. She leaves her doctor’s office and returns home to discuss her tests and lab results with her family. She returns home and logs into her personal health record (PHR). She can only access a subset of her test results. She calls her doctor’s office out of concern. The office staff discussed how she had gone to receive part of her lab work at a lab unrelated to the organization, part at the emergency room, and part at the lab affiliated with the doctor’s office.

The preceding scenario may be one that you have encountered frequently in clinical practice. Patients frequently receive healthcare from multiple organizations with potentially disparate systems for a variety of reasons.

As you go over this scenario, think about and answer the following questions for this discussion.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the situation in the case study?
What safeguards are included in patient portals and PHRs to assist patients and healthcare professionals in ensuring patient and healthcare professional safety?
Do you agree or disagree with the way this process has been carried out?