DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online

Presentation about the effect of patient accessible electronic health records on nurses’ work environment at Medical Informatics Europe


I haven’t been blogging for a while due to, among other things, the research grant and job applications I wrote about here. Some things have been submitted now, and I will come back to those shortly. Now, I want to concentrate on accepted papers, workshops and presentations to Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) and Vitalis in Gothenburg in the next couple of posts. The reason is that I got several confirmation letters about final acceptance last Friday. I have already mentioned the conditionally accepted papers here. We submitted revised versions of all of them accept for the short communication on psychiatry records – we decided to go for a journal article instead later on during the spring.

The first paper that was submitted to this year’s MIE conference was about the effect of patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) on the nurses’ work environment. It reports on a rather small interview study at a clinic and was originally performed as a master’s thesis project by the Uppsala University students Sara Englund and Anastasia Hansman. Åsa Cajander, who was also the supervisor of the students, is the main author of the conference paper and I am one of the co-authors since I also helped in writing the paper. The title of this paper is “Medical Records Online for Patients and Effects on the Work Environment of Nurses”.

One of the reasons why the study reported in the paper focuses on nurses is that most studies about the effect of PAEHRs focus on physicians and their work environment or their interaction with patients (See for example the newly published paper ““Why Do They Need to Check Me?” Patient Participation Through eHealth and the Doctor-Patient Relationship: Qualitative Study” by my some of my colleagues in the DOME consortium). This is also one of the reasons why we include nurses in the large interview/observation/survey study which I’m leading at the oncology department at Uppsala University Hospital. In the MIE paper, results regarding the following themes are discussed: Altered contacts, Increases workload, Creates uncertainty and Requires new knowledge.

Here is the abstract:

In 2012 Patients Accessible Electronic Health Records (PAEHR) was introduced in Region Uppsala, Sweden. When PAEHR was introduced heath care professionals were very concerned especially in relation to potential negative effects on their work environment. However, few studies exist that investigate in what way work environments have been affected, and no studies have focused on the nurses’ working in primary care. Hence, the purpose of this study was to fill this gap through seven interviews with primary care nurses that were transcribed and thematically analysed. The study shows that the nurses’ experiences an altered contact as patients accessing PAEHR came prepared to meetings with more informed questions. They also experienced that the service had increased their work load and that it creates uncertainty for nurses who do not know when to inform the patient about test results etc. Finally, some implications are discussed in relation to the patients’ role in shared decision making.

The schedule for the conference is not finalized yet, so I cannot give any information about when the paper is going to be presented. The only thing I know is that it will be one of the days April 24-26. I will write a new post about the specific presentation times for our accepted papers and the workshop as soon as they have been decided.


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