Personal Health Records Use Rising - InformationWeek
Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
04:41 PM

Personal Health Records Use Rising

Despite privacy and other concerns, 7% of Americans have online PHRs -- twice as many as two years ago.

While consumer use of online personal health records is still low in the U.S., the digital records are catching on despite privacy and other concerns, according to a new study released Tuesday by the California Healthcare Foundation.

While only 7% of Americans -- or one in 14 -- say they've used a PHR, usage of the online records has doubled over the last two years, according to the CHF survey of 1,848 Americans over the age of 18.

Users of PHRs are more likely to pay closer attention to their health and be more engaged in their care when their health information is accessible online, according to the findings.

The interview study was conducted from mid-December to mid-January by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the CHF, an independent, non-profit philanthropic organization focused on improving healthcare delivery.

While the study found that the typical "early adopter" PHR user is male, young, college educated and earns an annual income of $75,000 or more, the biggest benefits of PHRs appear to be derived from users who are less educated, have lower incomes, or have multiple chronic illnesses, said Mike Perry, a partner at Lake Research Partners.

Among PHR users, lower income individuals are more likely to say that PHRs help them feel "more connected" to their physicians, PHR while users without a college degree asked their doctors more questions, Perry said.

Most significantly, 40% of PHR users with two or more chronic conditions said they did something to improve their health, compared to 24% of other survey respondents.

"Most health care is self care," said Sam Karp, CHF's VP of programs. Because most patients only see their physicians occasionally, access to health information appears to be an important factor in patients being more engaged in their own healthcare.

The value that chronically ill patients derive from PHRs is important in their ability to manage their health, said Joshua Seidman, an advisor in the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT.

An important recommendation for the meaningful use requirements being set by the federal government is to have patients more engaged in their care through the use of personal health records and access to their health information, Seidman said.

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll