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Monica M. Gonzalez, Jose A. Paczka, Armando Gonzalez-Gutierrez, Andrea Orozco-García, Miguel A. Gonzalez-Guiterrez, Luz A Giorgi-Sandoval; Perceptions and knowledge about electronic health records among Latino glaucoma patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1562.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are not standard in most health institutions in Latin America. Patients can have scarce information about advantages and potential risks of incorporating EHRs into a healthcare practice. The aim of this survey is to establish the level of knowledge on regards of EHRs as well as perceptions on this matter.
A self-administered, 13-item questionnaire was applied in a continuous manner during one week period in a referral glaucoma center. Basic demographic and general data accompanied questions approaching the importance of a medical record in the healthcare process as well as the relevance of confidentiality of the medical information. An open question about EHR definition was stated if the patient resulted positive on knowing what an EHR was. A section on selecting both the most important advantage and disadvantage of an EHR was present. Bivariate analysis was performed. A P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Sixty seven patients (40 females, 27 males; 59.2 ± 6.6 years of age) completed the questionnaire. Most patients have had access to internet (59.7%), high school education level or higher (59.7%), social health coverage (62.7%), a diagnosis of glaucoma for the last 3 years (52.2%). More internet users claimed to rely their medical information on an EHR-based system (33/8) as compared to non-users (10/16; P = 0.0012, chi square test); in a similar way, more patients with a higher education level (27/14) rely on EHRs as compared to persons with a lower level of education (9/17; P = 0.024, chi square test). Twenty five patients (37.3%) selected that a physician can make better medical decisions if an EHR was used among other 4 possible advantages. Thirty three patients (49.3%) selected the possibility of accidental deleting of medical information as the major disadvantage among other 4 options.
Despite of an enlarging demand of physicians and health institutions to manage their medical records in an electronic format, concerns remain on some reliability issues of EHRs, especially among non-internet users and people with the lower education level as it is suggested by our findings.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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