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


  • [1] For this evaluation, “usability” is defined as a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.  The term refers to how well users can learn and use a product to achieve their goals and how satisfied they are with that process. The term ‘usability’ also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.
  • [2] For this evaluation, utility is defined as the quality or condition of being useful.  It refers to the functionality of the PHR’s design: does it do what users need it to do?
  • [3] Users for this evaluation are defined as Medicare Fee for Service beneficiaries registered for MyPHRSC who have logged into MyPHRSC one or more times since the pilot go-live date in April 2008.  Since the pilot period end date was one year from April 2008, NORC conducted discussions with beneficiaries who had been able to use the PHR for 6 months.
  • [4] Nonusers, for this evaluation, are beneficiaries who registered for MyPHRSC but did not log in after registering (.e.g. zero logins not including registration.)
  • [5] Unique identifiers were system-generated and not linked to beneficiaries’ personally identifiable information.
  • [6] The process of translating ICD9 codes to SNOMED descriptions was an internal mechanism established by HealthTrio and already in place at the time of the pilot, and thus not adjusted by NORC’s methodology and evaluation process.
  • [7] Since the CMS fee-for-service population is not electronically interconnected with healthcare providers, it was not a requirement of MyPHRSC pilot.
  • [8] SNOMED is a “computerized electronic vocabulary system” that allows for consistent categorization of medical terminology (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/SNOMED).
  • [9] QSSI is the prime subcontractor for MyPHRSC, responsible for management of the PHR and outreach.
  • [10] MyPHRSC offers two forms of technical assistance for Medicare beneficiaries.  The 1-800 technical support line directs users to QSSI for support; and the 1-877 support line connects users to HealthTrio, the PHR vendor, for product support.

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