As I wrote in this earlier blog post, Åsa Cajander and I recently got a new eHealth study published on the effect of patient accessible electronic health records on the work environment of oncology care professionals (see blog image). You can find the open access article here. This press release was published around the same time and the intention was of course to spread our results to the general public. Our hope was that journalists from e.g. popular science journals would find the content of the press release interesting and publish their own versions.
Although this study does not seem to have generated the same interest as in this and this case, there is at least one popular science article published about our new study. That article was published in the journal Vårdfokus, which is a monthly journal for the members of The Swedish Association of Health Professionals (they also publish articles on a daily bases online, reaching a larger audience). The main focus of this popular science article is that there is indeed some more work and changed routines as a consequence of patients being able to access their medical records online, even though the effects were not as large as originally feared.
The article in Vårdfokus, which you can find here (in Swedish), is definitely inspired by our press release, but has a somewhat different focus. The journalist also contacted Åsa Cajander before writing the article, to discuss the study! The article ends with the following quote from Åsa:
These results nevertheless show that there were not as large effects on the work of the healthcare professionals as compared to the enormous concerns that existed when Journalen was introduced. But certainly both physicians and nurses have had to adapt, especially when it comes to how and what they document.
In the article in Vårdfokus there is also a link to another article which they have written about two of our earlier eHealth studies. Aside from combining one study on the patients’ perspective (the national patient survey) and one study on the professionals’ perspective (on effects of patient accessible electronic health records on perceived risks of threats and violence), they also include quotes from an interview with Åsa!
In May 2018 I went to the University of Skövde to attend Hanife Rexhepi’s thesis defense. As I wrote in this blog post she did an excellent job during this event and I also thought that the doctoral thesis was of a very high quality. I concluded that blog post with this overall assessment of the event:
During my time at KTH (more than a decade) I was responsible for courses in communication and research rhetorics, so I know what I’m talking about when I say that it is very unusual to come across someone with such a good set of communication skills (including both written and verbal communication). I’m really happy that I was able to come to Skövde and experience this in real life!
Now it turns out that Hanife received a prize from Skaraborgs akademi for her doctoral thesis! Each year Skaraborgs akademi awards an outstanding doctoral thesis (must be written by a research student at the University of Skövde). This year the faculty board, who decides about the award, gave this motivation:
The doctoral thesis shows new insights and research results in its field of research and is expected to add new knowledge and contribute to the development of the subject area both nationally and internationally.
You can read more in this article (in Swedish). And you can find the outstanding thesis here.
Congratulations Hanife! Very well-deserved!
I have been working at the Centre for empirical research on information systems at Örebro University School of Business for around three months now and, naturally, I started out working with material that I had already gathered from previous research. I still had a lot of material to go through especially from eHealth studies and studies on the use of social media in higher education courses. I also had ongoing work with eight journal manuscripts (some in review and some being prepared for initial submission), and I am the driving author of four of them. Needless to say, I experienced no problem whatsoever regarding finding things to do. 🙂
This being said, it is of course of utmost importance that I connect with colleagues at the university and start new collaborations in order to be able to fully join the group. During this last month a few such collaborations have been started and more are hopefully coming up soon.
The first new collaboration involves Gunnar Klein who has also been a member of the DOME consortium for several years. He invited me to join a pilot study focusing on the implementation of video visits in primary care in Region Örebro. A survey to patients is currently being developed and an ethical application will probably have to be written soon as well. I will get back to this rather small study later on – it is still very early in the research process and there are a lot of decisions on methods etc. that are still to be made. I really look forward to this pilot study, since it will add a new dimension to my research on how eHealth services affects the interaction between patients and healthcare professionals.
The other collaboration involves three colleagues I have not collaborated with before: Kai Wistrand, Annika Andersson and Mathias Hatakka. We have all taken different kinds of actions meant to boost students’ communication skills (one example is my work with engineering communication courses at KTH which I have written about before on this blog). This collaboration will focus on writing a conference paper about our efforts to a pedagogical research conference. I look forward to this collaboration and I think we will end up with a paper that can have a real impact on teaching practice in engineering and computing education.
This upcoming Tuesday I will have a seminar where I will introduce my research to the group, and after that event I will hopefully be able to find even more possible areas of collaboration!
I took the blog image during my last trip to Öland a few weeks ago. I think the rainbow is a nice symbol for possibilities ahead…
About two weeks ago, a new research topics (similar to “special issue”) was opened by Frontiers. The editors of the research topic, which focuses on eHealth services for patients, are all members of the DOME consortium: Maria Hägglund, Hanife Rexhepi, Bridget Kane and Åsa Cajander. Specifically, the two journals Frontiers in Computer Science and Frontiers in Psychology are involved in this case.
The research topic takes a broad view on eHealth services for patients and includes areas such as patient accessible electronic health records, self-tracking, telehealth, ethics and accessibility in relation to eHealth services for patients, as well as different stakeholders’ perspectives and effects on the doctor-patient relationship. I’m not involved in the editing work, but I definitely intend to submit a few contributions since eHealth services for patients is one of my main research topics especially when it comes to effects on the communication between patients and care professionals.
The special topic should be of high interest to researchers focusing on any aspect on eHealth services for patients. The submission process is divided into two steps. An abstract should be submitted November 30th 2019 the latest and the complete manuscript should be submitted March 31st 2020 the latest. Thus, if you plan to contribute to the research topic, you need to start planning and start writing an abstract fairly soon. You can find more information as well as links to submission pages here.
Yesterday, the first journal article based on the large observation/interview/survey study about the effects of patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) on oncology healthcare professionals was finally published in Health Informatics Journal! The article, “Oncology health-care professionals’ perceived effects of patient accessible electronic health records 6 years after launch: A survey study at a major university hospital in Sweden”, focuses on a survey covering questions about effects of PAEHR on contacts with patients, documentation practices and care quality as well as supposed effects for patients. The survey was handed out to physicians and nurses by the heads of all departments at Uppsala University Hospital that were associated with blood and tumor diseases. This, in part, explains the unusually high response rate of around 72%. I led the data collection and analysis of this study and wrote the article together with Åsa Cajander at my former department at Uppsala University.
In the article we present several results, related to the areas mentioned above, from one of the first large follow-up studies in Sweden about clinician-perceived effects of PAEHR several years after launch of the system. Some of the key results are:
- Oncology care professionals believe that it is generally a good idea to give patients access to their medical records through the PAEHR
- There is a small effect regarding increased patient contacts, like e.g. more phone calls and longer visits
- The strongest identified effect (although, still fairly small) concerns documentation practices. Especially, the respondents experienced that they are more restrictive in their notes now. This effect mostly concerns other conditions than cancer, like obesity and mental illness
- The majority of the respondents do not see that the care has become safer as an effect of patients accessing the PAEHR
- There were very few significant differences between the answers from physicians and nurses
The article is published open access here, where you can find more results and details about the study. As has been the case for our earlier eHealth studies published lately, a press release has also been published by Uppsala University about this new study. You can find the press release (in Swedish) here. Let’s see how the new travels this time around!
Here is the article’s abstract:
Patient accessible electronic health records have been launched in many countries, and generally, health-care professionals have had strong initial concerns related to the areas patient contact, documentation practices and quality of care. Especially, oncology care was discussed in media when launching patient accessible electronic health records in Sweden. However, few studies have investigated clinician-perceived effects several years after the launch. A survey covering these areas, as well as supposed effects for patients, was distributed to oncology health-care professionals 6 years after the launch of patient accessible electronic health records and answered by N = 176. Results show that patient accessible electronic health records have had small effects within the covered areas, and that the area most affected was documentation practices. Very few significant differences could be found between physicians and nurses. A comparison with results from interviews and surveys conducted shortly after the launch of patient accessible electronic health records clearly indicates that the experienced negative effects are not as big as originally feared.
In parallel with the work on the recently published survey study, a larger research group, also consisting of researchers from the DOME consortium, continues working with interviews with the oncology care professionals at Uppsala University Hospital. Thus, we will also provide you with more qualitative results on this topic.
Quite a while ago I joined a group, as a co-author, that submitted a book chapter proposal (abstract) for a (hopefully) forthcoming book on gendered norms at work. I’m certainly not a gender expert, but I do have a lot of experience from studying effects of technology in the healthcare area, which is the book’s focus area. Last, week, I got a confirmation email that the book proposal had been accepted by the publisher and that it was time to start writing the chapters!
The chapter will be based on experiences from interviews and observation studies at Uppsala University Hospital, like e.g. the observation/interview/survey study on the Oncology department which I have written about before. There are quite a few interesting results from the latest studies performed at the hospital, which can be problematized from a gender perspective. I will not give any more details about the chapter before I know how the review process will be carried out.
This is the second book chapter I’m involved in. I write about my first ever book chapter here. That chapter was published in the Swedish popular science book “Digitalisering av högre utbildning” [Digitalization of higher education], which is now used in the teacher education at some universities. I’m not sure how the new book on gendered norms at work will be used, but I’m sure it will give us an opportunity to reach a wider audience than we do with our journal and conference papers.
The first draft should be submitted in the beginning of March, and about one month after that I should know a lot more about what happens with the book chapter.
I couldn’t really find a blog image that matches the content of this post, so once again I have used one of my own nature pictures – this time from my last trip to Öland.
During August and September I have been working on two papers for the annual conference Medical Informatics Europe, together with colleagues from Uppsala University and University of Skövde, respectively. Next year’s version of the conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, April 28 – May 1. I will mention the papers briefly in this blog post, since they are not subject to a blind review. I will write more about them in later posts when they have (hopefully) been accepted. I’m the main author of both papers.
Both papers are based on data that were gathered while I was working as a postdoctoral researcher at Uppsala University. One of the papers, written together with Åsa Cajander from Uppsala University, is based on interview results from the large interview/survey/observation study on patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) presented in this blog post. In this paper we focus on the effect of PAEHR on nurses’ work.
The other paper, written together with Hanife Rexhepi from University of Skövde, is based on results from the national patient survey which I introduced in this blog post. The focus in this case is on the effect of PAEHR on communication with medical professionals and on involvement in the care process.
This is the second time I contribute with papers to a MIE conference – the first time was in 2018 when MIE was held in parallel with Vitalis. That time around I was co-author of two papers and responsible for a workshop. I wrote about the presentation of one of the papers, also focusing on the effect of PAEHR on nurses’ work, in this blog post. In this blog post I write about the presentation of the other paper, focusing on differences between county councils/regions in Sweden when it comes to access to information in the PAEHR. You can read about our workshop, on the use of patient data for diagnoses and treatment of cancer, in this blog post.
I really enjoyed attending the MIE conference last time, and I’m positive it will be a nice experience this time around as well. The deadline for full paper (5 pages) submissions was recently postponed until October 15, so there is still time to submit research contributions to the conference!