Rapid growth in use of personal health records in New York, 2012-2013

J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Jun;29(6):850-4. doi: 10.1007/s11606-014-2792-2. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information*
  • Adult
  • Electronic Health Records / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Records, Personal*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meaningful Use / statistics & numerical data
  • Needs Assessment
  • New York
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data