Patient perspectives on a personally controlled e-health record in regional Australia

Article title: Patient perspectives on a personally controlled electronic health record used in regional Australia: ‘I can be like my own doctor’

Aims and method: This qualitative study explored patients’ experiences and perspectives of using a locally developed personally controlled e-health record in an Australian health service.

Results: The 12 participants described two main interdependent advantages of personally controlled electronic health records: 1) improved quality of healthcare through better information sharing, and 2) enhanced patient capacity for self-management. For these inter-related advantages to be realised, healthcare providers need to accept and use personally controlled e-health records and the system needs to be simple to use and accessible. Participants viewed that personal e-health record systems:

  • Were a convenient ‘one stop shop’; being a centralised, comprehensive repository of their relevant health information assisting a variety of healthcare providers to understand a patient’s healthcare history,
  • Reduced the imposition on patients to remember and repeat their medical history, and also reduced errors in recall, and
  • Provided rapid access to health information via a website. This was seen as being particularly helpful in emergency situations when the patient might not be able to communicate directly with healthcare providers.

Implications: For optimal electronic health record usage and effectiveness there needs to be widespread awareness, integration, and use – supported by a user-friendly functional software interface.

Our onward queries: How will widespread awareness of My Health Record be achieved, and can a the user interface design be improved to encourage its meaningful use?

Full reference of article

Hanna, L. Gill, S.D. Newstead, L. Hawkins, M. Osborne, R.H. (2017) Patient perspectives on a personally controlled electronic health record used in regional Australia: ‘I can be like my own doctor’. Health Information Management Journal, Vol. 46 p. 42-48.

Link to article: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1833358316661063

 

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