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


NORC utilized a broad, largely qualitative approach to data gathering and analysis beginning with an environmental scan consisting of a review of existing literature and consultation with thought leaders. Telephone discussions were conducted with sixteen thought leaders in PHR standards, consumer-oriented design, usability and implementation to inform the environmental scan and literature review.  AHRQ and CMS formed the PHR Technical Expert Panel, comprised of twelve experts in PHR standards, design, and evaluation, to inform all design, data collection and analysis activities.  NORC also conducted discussions with subcontractors of the PHR to inform the context of the claims processing and PHR functions and features.  A number of qualitative studies were conducted among beneficiaries in South Carolina which included discussion groups and user observation studies with beneficiaries who were users of MyPHRSC; semi-structured interviews with beneficiaries who registered and did not use MyPHRSC; and a discussion group with providers, a quantitative data analysis was conducted on twelve months of utilization data from MyPHRSC, consisting of data generated from the use of the PHR product.

In this section, we discuss the goals and key research questions for the evaluation, and outline NORC’s evaluation approach to meet these goals. Finally, we address study limitations.

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