PERSONAL HEALTH BOOK - A Novel Tool for Patient Centered Healthcare

Juha Puustjärvi, Leena Puustjärvi


Patient centered healthcare is based on the assumption that physicians, patients and their families have the ability to obtain and understand health information and services, and make appropriate health decisions. This in turn presumes that patient’s personal health information is presented according to individuals understanding and abilities. Based on this argument our research has focused on analysing whether the existing PHRs (Personal Health Records) support patient centered healthcare in an appropriate way. The analysis of these questions led to the introduction of the Personal Health Book (PHB). It is an extension of PHR in that all healthcare providers, who are involved in patient’s healthcare, augment the PHB by links to relevant information entities. In this paper we consider two approaches for maintaining PHBs: one extends XML based PHRs while the other exploits semantic web technologies in PHBs’ implementation. In particular, we present the advantages that can be achieved in using semantic web technologies such as RDF and OWL.


  1. Agarwal R, Angst C. M., 2006. Technology-enabled transformations in U.S. health care: early findings on personal health records and individual use, In Galletta G, Zhang P, (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction and Management Information Systems: Applications (Vol. 5). Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., pp. 357-378.
  2. Angst, C. M., Agarwal, R, Downing, J., 2008. An empirical examination of the importance of defining the PHR for research and for practice, Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
  3. Bauman, A., Fardy, H., and Harris, H.,“Getting it right; why bother with patient centred care?,” Medical Journal of Australia, 179(5), pp. 253-256, 2003.
  4. CCD, 2009. What Is the HL7 Continuity of Care Document? Available at: blog/2007/02/15/what-is-hl7-continuity-of-caredocument/
  5. CCR, 2009. Continuity of Care Record (CCR) Standard. Available at:
  6. Daconta, M., Obrst, L.and Smith, K. 2003. The semantic web. Indianapolis: John Wiley & Sons.
  7. Davies, J., Fensel, D., and Harmelen, F., 2002. Towards the semantic web: ontology driven knowledge management. John Wiley & Sons.
  8. Gillespie, R., Florin, D., and Gillam, S., “How is patientcentred care understood by the clinical, managerial and lay stakeholders responsible for promoting this agenda?,”Health Expectations, vol 7 No 2, pp. 142- 148, 2004.
  9. Kaelber, D. Jha, A. Johnston, D. Middleton, B. and Bates, D., 2008.A Research Agenda for Personal Health Records (PHRs), J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc., November 1,15(6). pp. 729 - 736.
  10. study of effect of patient centredness and positive approach on outcomes of general practice consultations,” British Medical Journal,” pp. 908- 911, 2001.
  11. Lewis, D, Eysenbach. G., Kukafka, R., Stavri P.Z., and Jimison, H., 2005. Consumer health informatics: informing consumers and improving health care. New York: Springer.
  12. Mettler, M., and Kemper D., Information Therapy: Health Education One Person at a Time. Health Promotion Practice 2004 4(3) 214-217.
  13. Michie, S., Miles, J., and Weinman, J., “ Patientcentredness in chronic illness: what is it and does it matter?,” Patient Education and Counselling, pp. 197- 206, 2003.
  14. Puustjärvi, J., and Puustjärvi, L., Using semantic web technologies in visualizing medicinal vocabularies. In the proc of the IEEE 8th International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (CIT 2008). 2008.
  15. Puustjärvi, J., and Puustjärvi, L.,The role of medicinal ontologies in querying and exchanging pharmaceutical information. International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, Vol. 5, No.1 pp. 1 - 13. 2009.
  16. Puustjärvi, J., and Puustjärvi, L., Providing Relevant Health Information to Patient-Centered Healthcare. In Proc. of the 12th International Conference on eHealth, Networking Applications and Services (IEEE HealthCom2010), Pages 215-220.2010.
  17. OWL, 2006. Web OntologyLanguage. Available at:
  18. RDF, 2004. Resource Description Framework (RDF). Available at:
  19. SPARQL, 2008. SPARQL Query Language for RDF. Available at:
  20. Stewart, M., “Towards a global definition of patient centred care: The patient should be the judge of patient centred care,” British Medical Journal, 322, pp. 444- 445, 2004.
  21. Trevena, L., Davey H., Barratt A., Butow P., and Caldwell P., A systematic review on communicating with patients about evidence. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 2006; 12,(1): 13-23.
  22. Thompson, A., “Moving beyond the rhetoric of citizen involvement: Strategies for enablement,” Eurohealth, 9(4), pp. 5-8, 2004.
  23. Tuil, W. S., Hoopen, A. J., Braat, D. D. M., Vries Robbe, P.F., and Kremer J. A. M., 2006. Patient-centred care: using online personal medical records in IVF practice, Hum. Reprod., November 1, 21(11). pp. 2955 - 2959.
  24. XPath, 2008. XML Path Language (XPath). Available at:

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Puustjärvi J. and Puustjärvi L. (2011). PERSONAL HEALTH BOOK - A Novel Tool for Patient Centered Healthcare . In Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2011) ISBN 978-989-8425-34-8, pages 386-393. DOI: 10.5220/0003271303860393

in Bibtex Style

author={Juha Puustjärvi and Leena Puustjärvi},
title={PERSONAL HEALTH BOOK - A Novel Tool for Patient Centered Healthcare},
booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2011)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2011)
TI - PERSONAL HEALTH BOOK - A Novel Tool for Patient Centered Healthcare
SN - 978-989-8425-34-8
AU - Puustjärvi J.
AU - Puustjärvi L.
PY - 2011
SP - 386
EP - 393
DO - 10.5220/0003271303860393