A pilot study on the views of elderly regional Australians of personally controlled electronic health records Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Australia introduced its version of personal health records in July 2012. Success of the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) relies on acceptance during the early stages. The main aim of this study was to investigate the views of a sample of elderly people in a non-metropolitan region in Australia on the PCEHR, and to assess their acceptance levels of this concept. METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a non-probability convenience sample of respondents recruited from meetings of Probus, a community club for active business and professional retirees. RESULTS: Approximately three-quarters of the respondents had computer and Internet access at home. If not accessed at home a computer at a general practitioner's practice was seen as beneficial in accessing the PCEHR. Respondents felt that access to their health record would help them make decisions about their own health and improve their communication with healthcare providers. The majority of respondents were in favour of the PCEHR although some expressed concerns about the security of their PCEHR. There was mixed opinion surrounding the access by health professionals to an individual's PCEHR. CONCLUSION: This study has revealed important information about views of the PCEHR. While the respondents were generally in favour of the concept, there were still some concerns about the security of the PCEHR suggesting further reassurance may be required. The study also highlighted some measures, in particular provision of General Practitioner computer access points and print-out facilities that may need to be considered during these initial implementation stages in order to improve adoption rates once the technology is fully available.

publication date

  • 2014