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


NORC designed a largely qualitative evaluation that was conducted in 3 phases. Phase 1 of the project included a broad environmental scan including an extensive literature review and discussions with sixteen key informants, as well as background discussions with MyPHRSC contractors. 

The environmental scan provided the context and scope for phase 2 of the project, which focused on beneficiaries using the MyPHRSC tool.  Phase 2 included discussions with beneficiary MyPHRSC users and nonusers, laboratory observations of beneficiary MyPHRSC users, discussion with providers in South Carolina, and analysis of utilization statistics.  Phase 3 of the evaluation, the final report, details the background and methodology for all evaluation activities in this pilot, highlights key findings, summarizes key themes and provides conclusions and recommendations for future research.

For each evaluation activity, NORC worked in close collaboration with ASPE, CMS, Patricia Flatley Brennan, and the members of the PHR Expert Panel. 

Findings for each qualitative evaluation activity investigated beneficiary healthcare priorities, methods for managing health information, computer experiences, and perceived impact of using the PHR to assess beneficiary preferences. The key challenges and barriers as well as enablers for PHR use for this population were also identified.  Finally, analysis of MyPHRSC utilization data revealed beneficiary PHR usage patterns, frequency of use, preferences for PHR functions, and usability components of PHRs for this population. 

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