Objective: Most electronic health record (EHR) systems have the capability of generating a printed after-visit summary (AVS), but there has been little research on optimal content. We conducted a qualitative study and a randomized trial to understand the effect of AVS content on patient recall and satisfaction.
Methods: Adult primary care patients (n = 272) with at least 1 chronic condition were randomly assigned to 4 AVS content conditions: minimum, intermediate, maximum, or standard AVS. Demographics and health literacy were measured at an index clinic visit. Recall and satisfaction were measured by telephone 2 days and 2 to 3 weeks after the clinic visit.
Results: Average age was 52 years; 75% of patients were female, 61% were Hispanic, and 21% were African American, and 64% had adequate health literacy. Average medication recall accuracy was 53% at 2 days and 52% at 3 weeks, with no significant difference among groups at either time. Satisfaction with AVS content was high and did not differ among groups. Recall of specific content categories was low and unrelated to group assignment. Health literacy was unrelated to recall and satisfaction.
Conclusion: Primary care patients like to receive an AVS, but the amount of information included does not affect content recall or satisfaction with the information.
Keywords: Electronic Health Records; Meaningful Use; Patient Satisfaction; Randomized Clinical Trials; Summary Report.