International healthcare IT standards body Health Level Seven (HL7), has published the Personal Health Record System Functional Model (PHR-S FM) as a draft standard for trial use.

According to HL7, the PHR-S FM defines the set of functions that may be present in PHR systems to create and manage an effective PHR. It also offers guidelines that facilitate health information exchange among different PHR systems and between PHR and EHR systems. The draft standard is available for download from the HL7 website

As a draft standard for trial use, the PHR functional model allows the industry worldwide to work with a stable standard for up to two years while it is being refined into an American National Standards Institute-accredited version.

HL7 says that during this period, consumers can begin requesting standards-based functionality when they select PHR systems for their use, and vendors can begin incorporating the model’s requirements into their products. In addition, organisations that certify PHR systems can begin evaluating the model’s conformance criteria for certification testing purposes.

The US Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology has already worked with parts of the standard. The US Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services have also used components of the PHR-S FM as requirements for its PHR pilot demonstration projects.

According to HL7 the functional model “was developed with broad stakeholder input”, and can be applied to specific PHR models – stand-alone, web-based, provider-based, payer-based, or employer-based models.

One of the profiles developed within the PHR-S FM is targeted at health authorities. It provides a list of capabilities a health authority such as a county or state public health or behavioural health agency, should consider when selecting or developing a PHR-S.

All registered profiles are available to the public through a searchable registry at