Access to electronic personal health records among patients with multiple chronic conditions: A secondary data analysis

Alexandra J. Greenberg, Angela L. Falisi, Lila J.Finney Rutten, Wen Ying Sylvia Chou, Vaishali Patel, Richard P. Moser, Bradford W. Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: In the United States, national incentives for offering access to electronic personal health records (ePHRs) through electronic means are geared toward creating a culture of patient engagement. One group of patients who stand to benefit from online access to ePHRs is the growing population with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). However, little is known about the current availability and use of ePHRs and patient portals among those managing MCC. Objective: The aim was to determine the associations between number of chronic conditions and sociodemographic characteristics and usage of ePHRs, and to assess how the public's use of ePHRs varies across subpopulations, including those with MCC. Methods: This study used data collected from the 2014 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), and assessed differences in use of ePHRs between those with and without MCC (N=3497) using multiple logistic regression techniques. Variables associated with health care systems (insurance status, having a regular provider) and patient-reported self-efficacy were included in the statistical models. Results: Those with MCC (n=1555) had significantly higher odds of accessing their records three or more times in the past year compared to those reporting no chronic conditions (n=1050; OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.37-4.45), but the overall percentage of those with MCC using ePHRs remained low (371 of 1529 item respondents, 25.63% weighted). No difference in odds of accessing their records was found between those reporting one chronic condition (n=892) and those reporting none (n=1050; OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.66-1.58). Significant differences in odds of accessing ePHRs were seen between income and age groups (P<.001 and P=.05, respectively), and by whether respondents had a regular provider (P=.03). Conclusions: We conclude that ePHRs provide a unique opportunity to enhance MCC patient self-management, but additional effort is needed to ensure that these patients are able to access their ePHRs. An increase in availability of patient access to their ePHRs may provide an opportunity to increase patient engagement and support self-management for all patients and especially those with MCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere188
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017


  • Electronic health records
  • Electronic personal health information
  • Multiple chronic conditions
  • Patient engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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