Family attitudes towards an electronic personal health record in a long term care facility

Pria M.D. Nippak, W. W. Isaac, A. Geertsen, C. J. Ikeda-Douglas


Objective: To explore the perceptions of family members regarding the importance of an electronic personal health record (EPHR) called MyChart as a healthcare information source to support the care of their loved ones within a long term care (LTC) facility in Toronto, Ontario.
Methods: One hundred and fifty eight family members of the patients in six LTC units at the hospital were given a survey to determine their perceptions regarding the utility of the content items within an EPHR that was recently adopted by the LTC institution.
Results: The response rate was 41% (n = 65). Many family members (n = 48) felt it was important to have access to their loved one’s EPHR. Respondents ranked test results (38%; n = 25), doctor’s clinical notes (26%; n = 17), medication lists (15%; n = 10) and upcoming appointments (11%; n = 7) as the number one most important content item that they would want to have access to. In addition to the standard content items found within an EPHR, family members requested electronic access to a variety of additional medical content items that are not currently offered within the EPHR, such as status alerts. Overall, they felt that an EPHR would enhance communication between the care team and the family, however 30% of family members identified concerns linked to security and confidentiality of the electronic health record information.
Conclusions: Family members felt that an EPHR would be an important tool in the LTC facility to assist with information exchange between care providers and the family. It is important to consider that the additional information requested beyond what is traditionally found in an EPHR as well as the specific communication concerns raised, may be limited to a LTC setting.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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