Implementation of the PHR

The implementation of the Personal Health Record (PHR), and accompanying Handbook for Health Professionals (HPs), promotes a systematic assessment of the health of arriving migrants. It seeks to ensure that health assessment and preventive measures are provided to all, including vulnerable groups, via the employment of health mediators/interpreters and via health promotion activities.

The use of the e-PHR was set to allow the collection of data on migrant population in specific sites within the EU Member States, which is available to health authorities. The aggregated data collected facilitated the identification of training needs and topics such as on reproductive health, gender based violence, grief management and IOM’s mental health and psychosocial assistance (MHPSS), the latest have been run in collaboration with National Authorities and project implementation partners.


The pre-piloting phase of the PHR is designed to evaluate and discuss the tool prior to its implementation in the selected EU Member States.

The pre-pilot will include the following activities :

  • Trainings for Health Professionals on the use of the PHR, its electronic database and confidentiality principles;
  • Monitoring, including content and format adjustment when needed and based on the context and needs of Health Professionals and patients; and
  • Feasibility report aiming at assessing the acceptability, feasibility, impact and transferability of the introduction of a personal health record.

Any necessary changes to the e-PHR has been made in collaboration with CHAFEA/DG SANTE.


The regional technical meeting aimed at discussing the results, including the independent feasibility report and lessons learned from the pre-pilot phase and to foster the agreement from the national authorities of the other targeted countries.


The use of the PHR and Handbook for Health Professionals was piloted in several implementation sites selected during the exploratory phase in Croatia, Greece, Italy and Slovenia. To facilitate the implementation of the PHR the following activities were set-up:
  • Health mediators/interpreters are recruited and trained on working with migrants, especially with vulnerable groups and children. One of the main tasks of the health mediators/interpreters, aside from interpretation services, is to explain to patients, in languages they can understand, the process and benefits of undergoing a health assessment and conduct health promotion.
  • Development of Health promotion and disease prevention activities/materials to meet the needs (identified during the exploratory mission) of refugees and migrants in term of health prevention and disease control and to support the work of the health mediators.
Cultural mediation in health care represent the “bridge” between people of different socio-cultural backgrounds and health professionals, ensuring the patients fundamental human rights. Health mediation meets the need of a culturally sensitive approach, by improving access and quality care delivered to migrant patients, by improving communication between health professionals and migrant patients, by increasing the responsiveness of the clinical environment to the socio-cultural and health care needs of migrant patients.
Therefore, the trainings on Migration Health for Cultural Mediators had the objective to equip cultural mediators working with migrants with the necessary knowledge needed concerning migrant-related health care and mediation. The sessions are designed to allow trainees to explore several important concepts on health care and health mediation for migrants and refugees, including an overview of entitlements to health care and responsibilities of migrants, working with vulnerable groups, mental health, occupational health, medical terminology and records, as well as cultural diversities and conflict mediation.