Evaluation of the Personal Health Record Pilot for Medicare Fee-For Service Enrollees from South Carolina. Beneficiaries' Backgrounds.


Beneficiaries provided information regarding their personal background, daily routine, medical status and the involvement of family and friends in their care. Participants were mostly retired and remained active through activities like volunteer work. Many exercised daily, either walking or going to a gym. While the beneficiaries had varying levels of health, all had chronic conditions e.g. hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes that they were managing.  All beneficiaries received a physical examination annually and many saw specialists regularly as well.

Comfort with Technology.  All of the participants considered themselves to be relatively comfortable using the computer and the Internet. Most reported that the computer was their favorite technology tool. All of the participants in the user observations made use of the computer for staying in touch with friends and family via e-mail, and many played games, shopped, and banked online (although one expressed security concerns about using credit cards online). One beneficiary had a Facebook account, one maintained a Website and online newsletter, and another kept a blog. Most participants lived with their spouse, and there was often one spouse who was the “tech savvy” partner, while the other spouse rarely used the computer or the Internet.

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