Factors influencing intention to use personal health records

by Melinda Whetstone, Ronald Goldsmith
International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing ()
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Purpose – The USA is striving to educate consumers and to promote awareness of personal health records (PHRs) with the launch of the American Health Information Management Association's “It's HI time, America!” campaign. Although the health management industry favours their use, there is little research from the consumer perspective. The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that bear on consumers' intention to create and to use a PHR. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 542 US college students were surveyed with an online questionnaire asking about several factors associated with intent to create a PHR. Findings – The results showed that being innovative with regard to healthcare, confidence in the privacy and security of the records, and especially perceived usefulness of PHRs were positively associated with intent to create a PHR. Gender, age, presence of a chronic illness, and awareness of PHRs were largely unassociated. Research limitations/implications – The primary limitation of this study is the use of a convenience sample of college students for data. A secondary limitation lies in constructs omitted from the model, e.g. the technology acceptance model's “ease of use” component. Practical implications – This study did not consider the effect that social communication or word of mouth will have on the spread of PHRs. Originality/value – These results contribute to the effort to understand and to promote consumer acceptance of PHRs. Stressing PHR usefulness might enhance their promotion.

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