Patient perspectives on computer-based medical records

J Fam Pract. 1994 Jun;38(6):606-10.


Background: Despite emerging interest in computer-based patient records (CPRs), less than 1% of medical records in the United States are stored electronically. Some physicians may be reluctant to implement CPR systems because of fear that the physician-patient relationship would be adversely affected. This study ascertained the attitudes of patients regarding the use of CPR systems.

Methods: This study was an in-depth interview survey of 16 patients concerning the CPR system used at the family medicine department at the Medical University of South Carolina. Interview topics included patient knowledge, perceived advantages and disadvantages, and the impact of the CPR system on their relationship with their physician.

Results: Most patients were informed about the nature of the CPR system and had positive attitudes toward it. Common perceptions were that CPR provides physicians with easy access to information, facilitates clinical encounters, and improves physician-patient relationship and the quality of care delivered. Although confidentiality was the major concern expressed about the CPR system, only one respondent indicated that this factor limited his interaction with his physician.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated patient acceptance and support for the CPR system in use at the study site. These findings should encourage physicians to use CPRs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Male
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Risk Assessment
  • South Carolina