Current Patient and Healthcare Worker Attitudes to eHealth

Article Title: Current patient and healthcare worker attitudes to eHealth and the personally controlled electronic health record in major hospitals

Aims & Method: A qualitative survey of patients and healthcare workers (n = 600 in each group) during 2014 aimed to determine the attitudes of patients and healthcare workers towards the use of stored medical information and the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) in five major hospitals in Victoria.

Results: Most surveyed patients (93.3%) were enthusiastic for their healthcare workers to have a summary of their medical history. However, only 33.7% of patients were aware that an eHealth record was a way of providing this summary, and only 11% had signed-up. Over 60% of patients had not signed-up for a record because ‘they had not got around to it’ and ‘had not received enough information’ about the eHealth record. Combined hospital and GP used of the eHealth record had a significant effect on whether patients were aware and had signed-up for a record.

Staff awareness of the eHealth record across all five hospitals was low. The combined median rating of familiarity with the eHealth record was two (on a scale of one to ten). After explanation, 95% of staff across all sites believed that the presence of a shared eHealth record would improve appropriateness of care and patient safety by reducing adverse drug events and increasing the speed of care provided. The combined median rating of improvement to patient care was 8 (scale of 1 to 10).

Implications:  The relatively low level of conversion from awareness to participation, especially from patients, may require more information and education from healthcare providers and government agencies.

Our onward queries: The current government initiative to implement an opt-out system may negate the need for awareness campaigns to increase awareness of the Australian My Health Record. However, will patients utilise their records once they have received them through the opt-out system?

Full reference of article
Armani, R. Mitchell, J. Allen-Graham, N.R. Heriot, T. Kotsimbos, T. Wilson, J.W. (2016) Current patient and healthcare worker attitudes to eHealth and the personally controlled electronic health record in major hospitals. Internal Medicine Journal. p.717-722.

Link to article on publisher page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imj.13086/abstract;jsessionid=E2535EA26C44B86F87FEFEA2E93BD60E.f02t02

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