ABSTRACT: To characterize consumers' attitudes about personal health records (PHRs), electronic tools that enable consumers to securely access, manage, and share their health information, in a community participating in health information technology initiatives.
A random-digit-dial telephone survey about PHRs was conducted among adult residents of New York State's greater Buffalo region. Multivariate regression analyses identified factors associated with potential PHR use.
We obtained a 79% (n = 200) response rate. Many respondents (70%) would potentially use PHRs. Consumers wanted PHRs to incorporate an array of information, including immunization records (89%) and providers visited (88%). They expressed interest in several online activities, including accessing their family members' healthcare information (71%). Potential PHR use was associated with perceptions that PHRs would improve privacy and security of medical information (odds ratio [OR] 4.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1, 20.1), understanding regarding health (OR 3.7; 95% CI 1.3, 11.1), and overall quality of care (OR 3.6; 95% CI 1.2, 10.6). Potential PHR use was associated with annual household income of more than $30,000 (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.3, 11.9) and experience looking up health information online (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.1, 8.1).
Consumers expressed great interest in using PHRs and wanted comprehensive PHRs. However, the "digital divide" between those with varying levels of Internet experience and concerns about PHRs’ effect on privacy and security of medical information may limit use. Designing PHRs that incorporate consumer preferences and developing policies that address these barriers may increase consumers' PHR use.
The American journal of managed care 04/2011; 17(4):e104-20. · 2.46 Impact Factor