Health Level Seven (HL7; Ann Arbor, Michigan) a healthcare IT standards development organization, reported last week that it is seeking public comment, through Sept. 13, concerning what may become a standard for the function of a personal health record (PHR).

Donald Mon, co-chair of the HL7 technical committee for electronic health records and VP of practice leadership at the American Health Information Management Association (Chicago), said that a functionality standard for PHRs would be “the fraternal twin of HL7’s EHR system functional model.”

HL7 has been working on a functionality definition for PHRs for some time, but development has paralleled that of EHR standards in that neither has caught on like wildfire. Still, HL7 would like to nudge this effort forward.

“While the PHR System Functional Model is general in scope and was developed with an eye towards what is achievable today, it contains the flexibility necessary for product innovation and sets a vision for future PHR systems,” Mon said.

HL7 is hoping that a pairing of its new PHR model with its EHR model will provide “a framework for standards-based interoperability between the consumer and the provider,” according to the Aug. 27 statement.

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