Portals to allow patients to access their primary care medical records are necessary to achieve true collaborative care between doctors and patients. In this article, we outline a practical approach to achieving this goal that involves Ministries of Health, electronic medical record vendors, physicians and patients. Patient portals to primary care records could make possible an entirely new world of on-the-spot, customized learning. Patient portals ideally should be designed with the goal of optimizing patients' to better their ability to help themselves. Delaying implementation of these portals exacts a continued financial and personal hardship on patients and their families.
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