Patient-reported measures of psychosocial issues and health behavior should be added to electronic health records

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Electronic Health Records; *Health Behavior; Humans; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Patient-Centered Care; *Quality of Life; Reproducibility of Results; United States


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine | Public Health


Recent legislation and delivery system reform efforts are greatly expanding the use of electronic health records. For these efforts to reach their full potential, they must actively involve patients and include patient-reported information about such topics as health behavior, preferences, and psychosocial functioning. We offer a plan for including standardized, practical patient-reported measures as part of electronic health records, quality and performance indexes, the primary care medical home, and research collaborations. These measures must meet certain criteria, including being valid, reliable, sensitive to change, and available in multiple languages. Clinicians, patients, and policy makers also must be able to understand the measures and take action based on them. Including more patient-reported items in electronic health records would enhance health, patient-centered care, and the capacity to undertake population-based research.

DOI of Published Version



Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Mar;31(3):497-504. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Health affairs (Project Hope)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID