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BMC Health Serv Res. 2002 Sep 11;2(1):19.

Patient attitudes toward using computers to improve health services delivery.

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  • 1Brown University School of Medicine Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital, USA.



The aim of this study was to examine the acceptability of point of care computerized prompts to improve health services delivery among a sample of primary care patients.


Primary data collection. Cross-sectional survey. Patients were surveyed after their visit with a primary care provider. Data were obtained from patients of ten community-based primary care practices in the spring of 2001.


Almost all patients reported that they would support using a computer before each visit to prompt their doctor to: "do health screening tests" (92%), "counsel about health behaviors (like diet and exercise)" (92%) and "change treatments for health conditions" (86%). In multivariate testing, the only variable that was associated with acceptability of the point of care computerized prompts was patient's confidence in their ability to answer questions about their health using a computer (beta = 0.39, p =.001). Concerns about data security were expressed by 36.3% of subjects, but were not related to acceptability of the prompts.


Support for using computers to generate point of care prompts to improve quality-oriented processes of care was high in our sample, but may be contingent on patients feeling familiar with their personal medical history.

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