Patient Experiences Using an Inpatient Personal Health Record

Journal: Applied Clinical Informatics
ISSN: 1869-0327
Issue: Vol. 7: Issue 2 2016
Pages: 446-460
Ahead of Print: 2016-06-01

Patient Experiences Using an Inpatient Personal Health Record

Research Article

J. Woollen (1), J. Prey (1), L. Wilcox (2), A. Sackeim (3), S. Restaino (4), S. T. Raza (4), S. Bakken (1, 5), S. Feiner (6), G. Hripcsak (1), D. Vawdrey (1, 7)

(1) Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY; (2) School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; (3) University of Pennsylvania Health System, Pennsylvania, PA; (4) College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY; (5) School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, NY; (6) Department of Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, NY; (7) NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY


Technology, personal health records, inpatient, patient engagement


Objective: To investigate patients’ experience using an inpatient personal health record (PHR) on a tablet computer to increase engagement in their hospital care.

Methods: We performed observations and conducted semi-structured interviews with 14 post-operative cardiac surgical patients and their family members who received an inpatient PHR. Themes were identified using an inductive coding scheme.

Results: All participants responded favorably to having access to view their clinical information. A majority (85.7%) of participants used the application following an initial training session. Patients reported high satisfaction with being able to view their hospital medications and access educational materials related to their medical conditions. Patients reported a desire to view daily progress reports about their hospital stay and have access to educational information about their post-acute recovery. In addition, patients expressed a common desire to view their diagnoses, laboratory test results, radiology reports, and procedure notes in language that is patient-friendly.

Conclusion: Patients have unmet information needs in the hospital setting. Our findings suggest that for some inpatients and their family members, providing personalized health information through a tablet computer may improve satisfaction, decrease anxiety, increase understanding of their health conditions, and improve safety and quality of care.

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