Secure Messaging between Providers and Patients, and Patients’ Access to Their Own Medical Record
Caroline Lubick Goldzweig, M.D., M.S.
Co-Investigators: Paul G. Shekelle, M.D., Ph.D. Ali Alexander Towfigh, M.D. Neil M. Paige, M.D., M.S.H.S. Greg Orshansky, M.D. David A. Haggstrom, M.D., M.A.S.
Research Associates: Isomi Miake-Lye, B.A. Jessica M. Beroes, B.S.
Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; July 2012
Summary / Overview
As the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) expands the capabilities of its personal health record system, My HealtheVet (MHV), and places greater emphasis on encouraging its use, it is interested in understanding how best to prioritize different functionalities and which of them will provide the greatest benefits to Veterans. This systematic review was designed to evaluate the literature surrounding secure messaging systems and electronic applications that give patients access to their own medical records, specifically investigating the evidence that these systems improve health outcomes, patient satisfaction, healthcare utilization and efficiency, and adherence. Additionally, the review examined studies that evaluated attitudes, particularly regarding patients having online access to their own medical information. The review distinguished between electronic systems that were "tethered" or tied to existing healthcare institution systems similar to how MHV is tethered to VHA’s EHR, versus those that were "stand-alone."