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Immediate access to patients’ complete health records via electronic databases could improve healthcare and facilitate health research. However, the possible benefits of a national electronic health records (EHR) system must be balanced against public concerns about data security and personal privacy. Successful development of EHR requires better understanding of the views of the public and those most affected by EHR: users of the National Health Service. This study aims to explore the correlation between personal healthcare experience (including number of healthcare contacts and number and type of longer term conditions) and views relating to development of EHR for healthcare, health services planning and policy and health research.
A multi-site cross-sectional self-complete questionnaire designed and piloted for use in waiting rooms was administered to patients from randomly selected outpatients’ clinics at a university teaching hospital (431 beds) and general practice surgeries from the four primary care trusts within the catchment area of the hospital. All patients entering the selected outpatients clinics and general practice surgeries were invited to take part in the survey during August-September 2011. Statistical analyses will be conducted using descriptive techniques to present respondents’ overall views about electronic health records and logistic regression to explore associations between these views and participants’ personal circumstances, experiences, sociodemographics and more specific views about electronic health records.
The study design and implementation were successful, resulting in unusually high response rates and overall recruitment (85.5%, 5336 responses). Rates for face-to-face recruitment in previous work are variable, but typically lower (mean 76.7%, SD 20). We discuss details of how we collected the data to provide insight into how we obtained this unusually high response rate.