Toward a patient-centered ambulatory after-visit summary: Identifying primary care patients’ information needs

Martina A. Clarke, Joi L. Moore, Linsey M. Steege, Richelle J. Koopman, Jeffery L. Belden, Shannon M. Canfield, Min S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the information needs of primary care patients as they review clinic visit notes to inform information that should be contained in an after-visit summary (AVS).Method: We collected data from 15 patients with an acute illness and 14 patients with a chronic disease using semi-structured interviews. The acute patients reviewed seven major sections, and chronic patients reviewed eight major sections of a simulated, but realistic visit note to identify relevant information needs for their AVS. Results: Patients in the acute illness group identified the Plan, Assessment and History of Present Illness the most as important note sections, while patients in the chronic care group identified Significant Lab Data, Plan, and Assessment the most as important note sections. Discussion: This study was able to identify primary care patients’ information needs after clinic visit. Primary care patients have information needs pertaining to diagnosis and treatment, which may be the reason why both patient groups identified Plan and Assessment as important note sections. Future research should also develop and assess an AVS based on the information gathered in this study and evaluate its usefulness among primary care patients. Practice Implications: The results of this study can be used to inform the development of an after-visit summary that assists patients to fully understand their treatment plan, which may improve treatment adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-263
Number of pages16
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Data display
  • electronic health records
  • information seeking behavior
  • patients
  • primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)
  • Health Information Management


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