We assessed patient experiences before and one year after electronic health record (EHR) implementation among primary care practices in New York City. These practices represented an ethnically diverse population in lower-income, urban communities. Surveys, available in English, Spanish, and Chinese languages, were administered at 10 sites. Generally, patients reported positive responses during both periods. After EHR implementation, patients were more likely to want e-mail communication with their doctors' office. The 70% of patients with Internet access were generally more satisfied with their experience and more likely to recognize benefits of EHRs. However, older patients and those with lower education levels or chronic diseases were significantly less likely than their counterparts to use the Internet. Therefore, disparities in Internet access could potentially lead to unequal access and use of healthcare if not addressed. Practices should routinely record patient communication preferences within the EHR, to tailor communications and improve patient experiences.