Consumers and Health Information Technology: A National Survey

Lake Research Partners

A national survey looks at the use of and attitudes toward personal health records (PHRs) and other health IT. The findings show that users of PHRs report becoming more engaged in their health by having access to their medical information online.

April 2010

Americans pay more attention and become more engaged in their health and medical care when they have easy access to their health information online. This is one of the findings of a national survey of the public's use of and attitudes toward health IT (HIT) — in particular, personal health records (PHRs). Although only 7% of adults use a PHR, the number is growing.

Among the survey highlights:

  • As a result of their PHR, users cite taking steps to improve their own health, knowing more about their health care, and asking their doctors questions they would not otherwise have asked.
  • Although higher-income individuals are the most likely to have used a PHR, lower-income adults, those with chronic conditions, and those without a college degree are more likely to experience positive effects of having their information accessible online.
  • Two-thirds of the public remain concerned about the privacy and security of their health information, but the majority of those who are using a PHR are not very worried about the privacy of the information contained in their PHR.
  • Most PHR users and nonusers say we should not let privacy concerns stop us from learning how HIT can improve health care.
  • More than half of adults are interested in using online applications to track health-related factors, and almost half are interested in medical devices that can be connected to the Internet.
  • Of those who do not have a PHR, 40% express interest in using one.

The complete snapshot and the survey topline results are available as Document Downloads.

Reader Comments

Dear Mr./Ms.:

I am a PhD candidate in the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
I would like to conduct web survey-based research to better understand nurses use of personal health records (PHRs).
I read about “Consumers and health information technology: national survey” and “Topline Results from a National Consumer Survey on Health IT” of the California HealthCare Foundation.

I want to use the survey instrument for nurses.
I want to know the conceptual framework behind the survey instrument.

Would you provide me what types of model or theory you use for the survey questions?

It will be great help for me to understand better the survey questions.
Thank you very much.


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Best regards,
Kyungsook Gartrell, MS, RN, BA, PhD candidate
University of Maryland School of Nursing
(C)443-955-8326