Engaging patients and valuing their use of My Health Record

Article Title: Avoiding Failure for Australia’s Digital Health Record: The Findings from a Rural E-Health Participatory Research Project

Aims / method: This qualitative research study used interviews and focus groups to examine the experiences of people with chronic illness (n=19) and their carers, and health promotion officers (2) when using the Personal Health Note within the My Health Record.

Results:  Communities and individuals with chronic health conditions need encouragement to use the My Health Record across transitions in their care. The My Health Record’s ‘Personal Health Note’ can help in managing these health transitions. Three sub-themes emerged in the analysis:

  1. Self-identity: My Health Record can support person-centred, proactive and collaborative healthcare, regardless of the patient’s physical or cognitive ability;
  2. Knowledge: Patient knowledge, competence and confidence in using My Health Record increased with use. Patients found new ways to use the system with experience. Rural communities provided valuable user information when they were supported to register and use My Health Record.
  • Access: Participants perceived that the My Health Record gave them more opportunities and advantage to improve healthcare services and manage their health. Some participants found My Health Record to be useful, fulfilling, and necessary, regardless of whether their healthcare provider engaged with the Record. Others were dissatisfied because of their healthcare providers’ lack of commitment or engagement in the Record.

Implications: Changing from an ‘opt in’ to an ‘opt out’ system of registration will not necessarily engage individuals in meaningful use of the My Health Record. It is important to support communities and people with chronic health conditions to actively adopt and use My Health Record to manage their health transitions. This engagement needs to involve and be valued by all stakeholders, as healthcare provider engagement in the Record is important to patients.


Our onward queries: How will the lessons from rural communities translate to metropolitan communities, to enhance engagement in My Health Record nationwide?

Full reference of article:
Almond, H. Cummings, E. Turner, P. (2016) Avoiding Failure for Australia’s Digital Health record: The Findings from a Rural E-Health Participatory Research Project. Digital Health Innovation for Consumers, Clinicians, Connectivity and Community. p.8-13.

Link to article on publisher page: http://ebooks.iospress.nl/volumearticle/44282

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