Missing links: Challenges in engaging the underserved with health information and communication technology

Maria D. Wright, Mindy E. Flanagan, Kislaya Kunjan, Bradley Doebbeling, Tammy Toscos

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    2 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    We sought to understand underserved patients' preferences for health information technology (HIT) and examine the current use of personal health records (PHRs) in Community Health Centers (CHCs) serving low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients. Forty-three patients and 49 clinic staff, administrators, and providers from these CHC systems were interviewed using open-ended questions assessing patient experience, perceptions of the CHC, access barriers, strategies used to overcome access barriers, technology access and use, and clinic operations and workflow. All seven CHC systems were at some stage of implementing PHRs, with two clinics having already completed implementation. Indiana CHCs have experienced barriers to implementing and using PHRs in a way that provides value for patients or providers/staff. There was a general lack of awareness among patients regarding the existence of PHRs, their benefits and a lack of effective promotion to patients. Most patients have access to the internet, primarily through mobile phones, and desire greater functionality in order to communicate with CHCs and manage their health conditions. Despite decades of research, there remain barriers to the adoption and use of PHRs. Novel approaches must be developed to achieve the desired impact of PHRs on patient engagement, communication and satisfaction. Our findings provide a roadmap to greater engagement of patients via PHRs by expanding functionality, training both patients and clinic providers/staff, and incorporating adult learning strategies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationPervasiveHealth 2016 - 10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare
    EditorsJesus Favela, Aleksander Matic, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Nadir Weibel, Jesse Hoey
    PublisherICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering
    Volume2016-May
    ISBN (Electronic)9781631900501
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 16 2016
    Event10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, PervasiveHealth 2016 - Cancun, Mexico
    Duration: May 16 2016May 19 2016

    Other

    Other10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, PervasiveHealth 2016
    CountryMexico
    CityCancun
    Period5/16/165/19/16

    Keywords

    • Communication technology
    • Community Health Centers
    • Health information technology
    • Low income
    • Patient engagement
    • Patient portal
    • Patient preferences
    • Patient-centered
    • Personal health record
    • Underinsured
    • Underserved
    • Uninsured

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Information Systems
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Health Informatics

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