Background: Giving patients access to their own medical data may help improve communication and engage patients in healthcare. As a result, the federal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program requires providers to offer electronic data sharing with patients via personal health records (PHRs) or other technologies.
Objective: We sought to estimate the rate of adoption of PHRs over a 2-year period.
Design: Survey of 800 respondents (margin of error: 3.5 percentage points) in consecutive years of the Empire State Poll, an annual random-digit-dial telephone survey.
Participants: Adult New York State residents.
Main measures: Self-reported use of a PHR.
Key results: The rate of reported PHR use rose from 11 % in 2012 to 17 % in 2013. The proportion of these PHRs provided by doctors or healthcare organizations also increased sharply (from 50 % in 2012 to 73 % in 2013, p < 0.01) with a corresponding decrease in the proportion provided by insurers.
Conclusions: The proportion of New York State residents using PHRs increased by more than 50 % (from 11 to 17 %) in advance of a federal incentive program requirement that healthcare organizations with EHRs must share electronic data with patients in order to receive their incentives.