Study into patients' perspectives of personal EHRs

Victoria's Barwon Health and Deakin University have launched a research study into patients' perspectives of personal electronic health records (PeHRs).

The study will conduct detailed interviews with a sample of patients of Barwon Health who are currently using Medenotes, Barwon Health’s personal eHealth records system.

Lisa Hanna, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health at Deakin University, and Stephen Gill, who holds a research post at Barwon Health's Safety and Quality Unit, will lead the study.

Dr Gill said the aim was to evaluate experiences and expectations of a group of patients who are currently using a PeHR. It is anticipated that doctors’ experiences will be explored in a future study.

“Barwon Health has encouraged patients to use the Medenotes PeHR, and a number of Barwon Health patients are now subscribers to Medenotes, so it is important that we evaluate its impact,” Dr Gill said.

“In view of the broader conversation about PeHRs at a national level, we can contribute to that conversation with our local evaluation of the experiences of patients in the Barwon Health region.”

Dr Gill said the advantage of the Medenotes system is that it is currently up and running, and people are actually using the system.

“That gives us the potential to really find out what people think about it,” he said. “The federal government’s electronic health records system remains under development, so it is not possible to survey this system from a actual clinical users’ perspective yet. This means that the findings from this survey will be important in determining attitudes, experiences and progress.”

He said patient recruitment for the study will begin soon and it is hoped that results will be published by the end of the year.

“We are also very interested to also understand providers' perspectives of electronic health records, both doctors and organisations, but we wanted this first step to evaluate the patients’ experiences and expectations as their views are the most important.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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