Now Reading: Consumers and Health Information Technology: A National Survey –

I was treated to panel of some of my favorite Californians and Washingtonians (and an honorary one) discussing the findings of another great piece of knowledge from California Healthcare Foundation , this one adding an underline and maybe an exclamation mark or two to the work published last week by Group Health Cooperative about their real experience with personal health records.

One finding that is also underlined in this data is the impact of being a caregiver – the number one frustration cited with the management of health care is “I wish I knew more about my loved one’s care.” People who are not PHR users are more interested in using PHRs to support their caregiving for others than for themselves. It seems that the impact of caregiving, and the benefit from HIT is becoming more pronounced now that we have more experience with what the technology can do.

This data confirms what systems with experience know – people appreciate personal health records that support better interactions with their care providers. There are lots of datapoints about feeling more bonded to one’s provider, and even being more likely to stay under the care of a provider with a PHR. In addition, the experience of having access to a PHR appears to change people’s view about the privacy of the information in it. I don’t think this means they are less concerned with privacy; this seems to point to other data that shows that patients understand the cost-benefit of the collaboration supported from having the data.

They just need the chance to see what this technology can do for them. Thanks, California Healthcare Foundation, for bringing the patient experience forward (again).

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Ted Eytan, MD