Thursday, October 25, 2012

This Report Might Be Useful To Help DoHA Understand PHR Adoption.

The following appeared a little while ago.

Age, education, income not linked to PHR adoption

October 15, 2012 | By Susan D. Hall
Age, education level and income were not good indicators of patients' willingness to adopt personal health records according to the results of a recently published study, though the patients' perceived ability to access and understand the information was.
Researchers from the University of Central Florida in Orlando polled 562 patients in a physician practice that was considering offering PHRs, but wanted to know whether patients would use them. Their findings, published in Perspectives in Health Information Management, did not support the notion that older, less educated and low-income patients would be less willing to adopt PHRs.
Of the total, 74 percent of the participants indicated that they would adopt a PHR. In the most common age group (41-55), 77 percent said they would use a PHR. Fifty-two percent of the patients had a high school education or less, yet 71 percent of that group expressed willingness to adopt a PHR. Meanwhile, 59 percent of patients were in the lowest income category (less than $20,000 annually) for 2008, and 75 percent of those indicated a willingness to use a PHR.
Lots more here:
Here is the abstract for the paper:

The Impact of Health Literacy on a Patient’s Decision to Adopt a Personal Health Record

by Alice M. Noblin, PhD, RHIA, CCS; Thomas T. H. Wan, PhD; and Myron Fottler, PhD


Health literacy is a concept that describes a patient’s ability to understand materials provided by physicians or other providers. Several factors, including education level, income, and age, can influence health literacy. Research conducted at one medical practice in Florida indicated that in spite of the patients’ relatively low education level, the majority indicated a broad acceptance of personal health record (PHR) technology. The key variable explaining patient willingness to adopt a PHR was the patient’s health literacy as measured by the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS). Adoption and use rates may also depend on the availability of office staff for hands-on training as well as assistance with interpretation of medical information. It is hoped that technology barriers will disappear over time, and usefulness of the information will promote increased utilization of PHRs. Patient understanding of the information remains a challenge that must be overcome to realize the full potential of PHRs.
Keywords: health literacy, personal health records, electronic health records
Full free paper is here:
I think this is very interesting material and that is does have some real policy implications in terms of basic health literacy development and the levels of support adoption many require.