Medical inpatients' use of information technology: Characterizing the potential to share information electronically

Kevin J. O'Leary, Anna Balabanova, Magdalyn Patyk, Cynthia Barnard, David M. Liebovitz, Mark V. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Hospitalized patients frequently have an incomplete understanding of important aspects of their care. Patient-facing technologies, increasingly used in outpatient settings to exchange information between patient and provider, may have utility in the hospital setting. We conducted structured interviews of hospitalized medical patients to assess current use of information technology, gauge interest in receiving information electronically, and prioritize potential content options. Overall, 150 of 175 (86%) eligible patients completed interviews. A majority (69%) of patients used the Internet prior to hospital admission. One third (32%) of patients had used the Internet during their hospitalization with half of those reporting use for health information. Overall, nearly half (42%) reported interest in receiving health information electronically during hospitalization and a majority (59%) were interested in receiving health information electronically after hospitalization. Patients expressed high interestin receiving information to helpthem learn more about diagnoses and treatments, medication lists, lists of planned tests, and summaries of completed tests and procedures. Many general medical patients are interested in receiving health information electronically from hospital providers. Our findings support the development of hospital-based patientfacing health information technologies and prioritize content options patients find most beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalJournal for Healthcare Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 National Association for Healthcare Quality.


  • Patient access to records/economics
  • Patient education as topic
  • Physician-patient relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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