Usability of Personal Health Records

Personal health records (PHR), often created and monitored by patients themselves, have enormous potential to improve both documentation of health information and patient care.

Three PHR platforms

If properly maintained and up-to-date, these systems can help a patient communicate important health information with clinicians. The enormous potential of these systems when coupled with their limited adoption have left many researchers, clinicians, and public health officials pondering the disconnect.


In this work, I set out to understand the particular challenges limiting the adoption and use of PHR through a systematic evaluation of three Internet-based, consumer-centric PHR systems. One goal was to understand and reflect on how designers and developers might address issues of adoption now and throughout the design cycle.


  • Cognitive walkthrough
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Interviews
  • Affinity analysis diagramming


( PDF ) Leslie S. Liu, Patrick C. Shih, and Gillian R. Hayes. 2011. Barriers to the Adoption and Use of Personal Health Record Systems. Proceedings of the 2011 iConference.