A week ago Åsa Cajander and I from Uppsala University, Isabella Scandurra from Örebro University and Tove Sørensen and Monika A Johansen from the Norwegian Centre for E-health Research, organized a workshop in Oslo as a part of the EHealth in Norway Future Health conference. The topic of the workshop was “Workshop: Patients’ digital access to their health record: A service for all?” In this blog post I will concentrate on a specific part of the workshop – the role play activity – and in a later post I will write about the conference as a whole.
In an earlier blog post I wrote about my first research contribution from a patient’s perspective and during the workshop in Oslo I made my second contribution as a patient. This time I took the patient role in a role play activity!
The workshop was divided into six main segments; General introduction, description of the eHealth service, discussion of who should have access, discussion about what type of documents should be provided, discussion (in smaller groups) about today’s technical, organizational, legal, cultural and practical limitations and discussion on future plans. Apart from taking part in general discussions prior to the workshop my responsibility was to prepare material for a role playing activity which should encourage discussions among the participants. The main idea with this activity was to pinpoint differences between regions within Sweden and Norway as well as differences between these countries, regarding access to information in patient accessible electronic health records. During the role playing I took the role as a patient (and I also used my own background during most of the activity), Åsa acted as representative for the Uppsala county council and Isabella acted as representative from other regions in Sweden. Tove and Monika were representatives from regions in Norway.
The first part of the role play started off the discussion about who should have access to the electronic health record. I began with describing the critical incident presented here, illustrating my need to see test results in my electronic health record. I began by asking Isabella and Åsa if I can access test results (and also other relevant health information) in Stockholm, where I live, Uppsala, where I work and in other regions in Sweden respectively. The discussion with Åsa and Isabella that followed showed that there are big differences between regions in Sweden regarding, most of all, the patient’s access to test results. When I directed the question to the Tove and Monika, about the situation in Norway, other workshop participants from Norway started giving their own answers! The same thing happened when I asked questions about access to historical data – how far back you can follow your medical history when using the electronic health record. We began by discussing the situation in Sweden and again big differences were found. After the focus shifted again to Norway the workshop participants were again very much involved in the discussion. The overall conclusion from this part of the role play, which focused mostly on my own needs as a patient, was pretty much that I should move to Uppsala! 🙂
The second, and last, part of the role play served as an introduction to the discussion of what types of documents should be provided. For this I introduced an imaginary sister with a bipolar disease – hence, a patient who wants to view psychiatry medical records. At least in Sweden there are only a handful of regions where patients can access those records and this was highlighted during the discussion with Åsa and Isabella. In Norway it was different – medical records from psychiatry can be viewed in half of the regions. Even this part of the role play engaged several of the other workshop participants. This time the conclusion seemed to be that my imaginary sister should move to Norway… 🙂
Overall, the role play activity was a success. It proved to be a good starting point for discussions and it could also be used as a frame of reference to relate back to when discussing. At several occasions workshop participants referred back to the scenarios covered during the role play. Our plan is to continue using this activity to promote discussions even in future workshops. As a matter of fact, Åsa and Isabella also used role playing as part of a presentation of the work performed within the DOME project, during the last conference day! I will write more about that later on.