Evaluation of the Personal Health Record Pilot for Medicare Fee-For Service Enrollees from South Carolina. Discussion Groups with Beneficiary Users of MyPHRSC


When screening for the user meetings, the selected participants indicated a broad range of experience levels in using computers and in using the PHR.  Beneficiaries reported first hearing about the PHR between 1 month and 6 months prior to September, and first signed up for the PHR between 1 week and 4 months prior to September.  Expectations of MyPHRSC varied. Many beneficiaries reported that they did not know what to expect of the PHR and wanted to simply learn more about the tool, while some reported signing up in hopes that the PHR could help them to keep track of their records (e.g. billing, claims and personal health information). Appendix 9 lists the results from the pre-discussion screener.

In discussion groups, NORC investigated key components of utility (the quality or condition of being useful) and usability (how well users can learn and use a product to achieve their goals and how satisfied they are with that process).  Participants identified computer and Internet experience; key health care priorities; reasons for using the PHR; most valued features and functions; challenges and enablers to using the PHR; key benefits experienced or anticipated; and potential impacts of using the PHR.  Below, we provide a summary of key results and conclusions.

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