Consumer Opinions of Health Information Exchange, e-Prescribing, and Personal Health Records

Gary L. Cochran, Lina Lander, Marsha Morien, Daniel E. Lomelin, Jeri Brittin, Celeste Reker, Donald G. Klepser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Consumer satisfaction is a crucial component of health information technology (HIT) utilization, as high satisfaction is expected to increase HIT utilization among providers and to allow consumers to become full participants in their own healthcare management.

OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this pilot study was to identify consumer perspectives on health information technologies including health information exchange (HIE), e-prescribing (e-Rx), and personal health records (PHRs).

METHODS: Eight focus groups were conducted in seven towns and cities across Nebraska in 2013. Each group consisted of 10-12 participants. Discussions were organized topically in the following categories: HIE, e-Rx, and PHR. The qualitative analysis consisted of immersion and crystallization to develop a coding scheme that included both preconceived and emergent themes. Common themes across focus groups were identified and compiled for each discussion category.

RESULTS: The study had 67 participants, of which 18 (27 percent) were male. Focus group findings revealed both perceived barriers and benefits to the adoption of HIT. Common HIT concerns expressed across focus groups included privacy and security of medical information, decreases in quality of care, inconsistent provider participation, and the potential cost of implementation. Positive expectations regarding HIT included better accuracy and completeness of information, and improved communication and coordination between healthcare providers. Improvements in patient care were expected as a result of easy physician access to consolidated information across providers as well as the speed of sharing and availability of information in an emergency. In addition, participants were optimistic about patient empowerment and convenient access to and control of personal health data.

CONCLUSION: Consumer concerns focused on privacy and security of the health information, as well as the cost of implementing the technologies and the possibility of an unintended negative impact on the quality of care. While negative perceptions present barriers for potential patient acceptance, benefits such as speed and convenience, patient oversight of health data, and safety improvements may counterbalance these concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1e
JournalPerspectives in health information management
StatePublished - 2015


  • e-prescribing
  • health information exchange
  • health information technology
  • personal health records

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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