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WHO WE AREThe International Organization for Migration (IOM) is part of the United Nations System as the leading inter-governmental organization promoting since 1951 humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all, with 175 member states and a presence in 171 countries.
Our WorkAs the leading inter-governmental organization promoting since 1951 humane and orderly migration, IOM plays a key role to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through different areas of intervention that connect both humanitarian assistance and sustainable development.
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The electronic Personal Health Record (e-PHR) and its platform enhance health workers’ understanding of refugees’ and migrants’ individual health needs. The e-PHR ensures that migrant health assessment records are available in both transit and destination countries, while also strengthening national and cross-border disease surveillance and response.
A valuable tool for constructing or reconstructing the medical history of arriving migrants, e-PHR enables health workers to establish patients’ health status and medical requirements. It also offers an opportunity to document subsequent treatments, including vaccinations, as well as to provide counseling and health education services.
By using this tool, health professionals can gain a comprehensive understanding of a person's health status and needs during clinical encounters and treatment.
- Background of PHR
To respond to the need to foster appropriate health care provision to migrants and to harmonize health assessment practices within the EU, the Migration Health Division of the International Organization for Migration developed a Handbook for Health Professionals. Based on this work, the Personal Health Record (PHR) was produced with support from the European Commission and contribution from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The PHR helps to construct/reconstruct the medical history of arriving migrants, thereby establishing their health status and medical needs. It provides an opportunity to record subsequent provision of treatment, including vaccinations, and to offer counselling and health education services. Therefore, the PHR is a personal document that migrants and refugees should keep with them and that contains the individual’s health data and information. The PHR is accompanied by a Handbook to be used by Health Professionals. It provides guidance on the use of the PHR and, in more general terms, the health assessment process for migrants and refugees.
The PHR is based on IOM’s extensive experience in pre-departure health assessments, for example, within the long-standing context of refugee resettlement and, since 2016, of relocation within the EU.
Using IOM's e-PHR tool, health authorities in Italy significantly reduced the pressure on local emergency rooms while also providing arriving migrants with better health care.
Regarding the collection of patient data and IOM actions, a legal framework is built and subject to the IOM/UN data protection principles as informed by relevant international standards. Download the IOM Data Protection Manual
Further, the action refers to the additional international, regional and national recommendations and legislation, such as:
- International Health Regulations (IHRs) 2005
- Built-in Consent and Data sharing forms in compliance with Member States’ regulations
- EU Legislation on Communicable diseases
- EU definition of reportable diseases
- IOM’s Data Protection Principles
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- All national legislations regarding data protection