Technology enables patients home access to their electronic medical record (EMR), via a patient portal. This study aims to analyse (dis)advantages, preconditions and suitable content for this service, according to rheumatology health professionals. A two-phase policy Delphi study was conducted. First, interviews were performed with nurses/nurse practitioners (n = 9) and rheumatologists (n = 13). Subsequently, collected responses were quantified, using a questionnaire among the interviewees. The following advantages of patient home access to the EMR were reported: (1) enhancement of patient participation in treatment, (2) increased knowledge and self-management, (3) improved patient–provider interaction, (4) increased patient safety, and (5) better communication with others. Foreseen disadvantages of the service included: (1) problems with interpretation of data, (2) extra workload, (3) a change in consultation content, and (4) disturbing the patient–provider interaction. Also, the following preconditions emerged from the data: (1) optimal security, (2) no extra record, but a patient-accessible section, (3) no access to clinical notes, and (4) a lag time on the release of lab data. Most respondents reported that data on diagnosis, medication, treatment plan and consultations could be released to patients. On releasing more complex data, such as bodily examinations, lab results and radiological images the opinions differed considerably. Providing patients home access to their medical record might be a valuable next step into patient empowerment and in service towards the patient, provided that security is optimal and content and presentation of data are carefully considered.
van der Vaart, R., Drossaert, C. H. C., Taal, E., & van de Laar, M. A. F. J. (2013). Giving rheumatology patients online home access to their electronic medical record (EMR): advantages, drawbacks and preconditions according to care providers. Rheumatology international, 33(9), 2405-2410. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-012-2408-2