Month: July 2012

Survey of patient and public perceptions of electronic health records for healthcare, policy and research: Study protocol

The study protocol for the first, quantitative phase of the project has been published in BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making. Below is the abstract:

Background:¬†Immediate access to patients’ complete health records via electronic databases could improve healthcare and facilitate health research. However, the possible benefits of a national electronic health records (EHR) system must be balanced against public concerns about data security and personal privacy. Successful development of EHR requires better understanding of the views of the public and those most affected by EHR: users of the National Health Service. This study aims to explore the correlation between personal healthcare experience (including number of healthcare contacts and number and type of longer term conditions) and views relating to development of EHR for healthcare, health services planning and policy and health research.

Introducing the project

Although wider use of health technologies can contribute to the improvement of public health and individual patient outcomes, increasing access to patient health information brings challenges. There is a balance to be struck between protecting individual privacy, for instance, and gaining benefits from additional data becoming available for healthcare research.

In this blog we will be documenting the progress of our research project looking at patient and public perceptions around Electronic Health Records (EHRs) used for care, research and policy-making purposes. We would like to share our findings, thoughts and plans with the public and invite feedback and comments from patients, health professionals, researchers, policy-makers and other interested parties.