Donna M. Zulman, MD, MS; Kim M. Nazi, MA; Carolyn L. Turvey, PhD, MS; Todd H. Wagner, PhD; Susan S. Woods, MD, MPH; Larry C. An, MD
Electronic personal health record (PHR) systems are proliferating but largely have not realized their potential for enhancing communication among patients and their network of care providers.
To explore preferences about sharing electronic health information among users of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) PHR system, My HealtheVet.
Web-based survey of a convenience sample.
My HealtheVet Web site from 7 July through 4 October 2010.
18 471 users of My HealtheVet.
Interest in shared PHR access and preferences about who would receive access, the information that would be shared, and the activities that users would delegate.
Survey respondents were predominantly men (92%) and aged 50 to 64 years (51%) or 65 years or older (39%); approximately 39% reported poor or fair health status. Almost 4 of 5 respondents (79%) were interested in sharing access to their PHR with someone outside of their health system (62% with a spouse or partner, 23% with a child, 15% with another family member, and 25% with a non-VA health care provider). Among those who selected a family member other than a spouse or partner, 47% lived apart from the specified person. Preferences about degree of access varied on the basis of the type of information being shared, the type of activity being performed, and the respondent's relationship with the selected person.
The survey completion rate was 40.8%. Results might not be generalizable to all My HealtheVet users.
In a large survey of PHR users in the VA system, most respondents were interested in sharing access to their electronic health information with caregivers and non-VA providers. Existing and evolving PHR systems should explore secure mechanisms for shared PHR access to improve information exchange among patients and the multiple persons involved in their health care.
Veterans Health Administration and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program.
Physicians and hospitals are implementing electronic personal health record systems with little understanding of how patients want their information used.
In this survey of veterans who use an electronic system containing their medical records and health information, 4 of 5 respondents wanted someone outside of the health system, especially family members and health care providers, to have access to at least some of their information.
The survey response rate was low, which means that the persons who answered survey questions may not adequately represent all users.
Electronic health record systems should enable secure sharing of information with patient-designated users outside of the health system.
The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.
Zulman DM, Nazi KM, Turvey CL, Wagner TH, Woods SS, An LC. Patient Interest in Sharing Personal Health Record Information: A Web-Based Survey. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155:805–810. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-12-201112200-00002
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(12):805-810.
Healthcare Delivery and Policy, Prevention/Screening.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2019 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use