Global Health & Medicine 2021;3(1):37-43.
Investigation of users' experiences for online access to their electronic health records in Japan
Elkhaili El Alami L.S, Nemoto A, Nakata Y
The solution of sharing electronic health records (EHR) with patients has the potential to improve patients' understanding and remembering of their health information. We call this solution the patient open-EHR. In Japan, this solution is not yet widespread, and experiences of actual users are not known. Our aim is to explore the needs and satisfaction of patients who are actually using one patient open-EHR system in Japan that allows registered patients online access to part of their EHR. A cross-sectional study was done using an online questionnaire. Patients registered with our patient open-EHR system were invited to participate by posting an invitation message on the system login page and sending them invitation emails. We investigated their needs regarding the system and their views regarding the system's ability to improve their understanding, remembering, and other perspectives. Answers from 95 patients, collected between August 10 and October 20, 2019 were analyzed. The need to further understand and remember the information received from the doctor was among the top four reasons behind using the system. However, only 48% of patients agreed that the system improved their remembering and 68% agreed that it improved their understanding. Thirty-seven percent of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with access to only blood test results and prescriptions. Despite this dissatisfaction, respondents were positive about the future of the system. Hospitals need to recognize the needs of patients and to consider them when providing patient open-EHR service. The EHR has potential not only for hospitals but also for patients.