Information transparency with immediate release: Oncology clinician and patient perceptions

Am J Surg. 2024 Jan:227:165-174. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2023.10.015. Epub 2023 Oct 5.


Introduction: As part of the 21st Century Cures Act (April 2021), electronic health information (EHI) must be immediately released to patients. In this study, we sought to evaluate clinician and patient perceptions regarding this immediate release.

Methods: After surveying 33 clinicians and 30 patients, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a subset of the initial sample, comprising 8 clinicians and 12 patients. Open-ended questions explored clinicians' and patients' perceptions of immediate release of EHI and how they adjusted to this change.

Results: Ten themes were identified: Interpreting Results, Strategies for Patient Interaction, Patient Experiences, Communication Strategies, Provider Limitations, Provider Experiences, Health Information Interfaces, Barriers to Patient Understanding, Types of Results, and Changes due to Immediate Release. Interviews demonstrated differences in perceived patient distress and comprehension, emphasizing the impersonal nature of electronic release and necessity for therapeutic clinician-patient communication.

Conclusions: Clinicians and patients have unique insights on the role of immediate release. Understanding these perspectives will help improve communication and develop patient-centered tools (glossaries, summary pages, additional resources) to aid patient understanding of complex medical information.

Keywords: Electronic health information; Health literacy; Immediate release; Patient comprehension; Patient-centered resources.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Patients*
  • Qualitative Research