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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Exploring perceptions and use of the electronic health record by parents of children with autism spectrum disorder: A qualitative study.

  • Author(s): Bush, Ruth A
  • Stahmer, Aubyn C
  • Connelly, Cynthia D
  • et al.

This qualitative project used structured interviews with nine parents to examine perceptions of the electronic health record (EHR) and associated patient portal in the treatment of their child's autism spectrum disorder. Thematic analysis identified six complementary themes including: Familiarity and exposure to the EHR, changing experience of care (streamlining appointments, providing more rapid medical record access, increasing clinician awareness of the complexity of their child's medical treatment, and facilitating prescriptions), portal use, patient/EHR/portal interaction, interoperability, and mother as care coordinator. While aware of the patient portal, only one-third had registered to use it and these parents reported only limited use. In general, perceptions of the electronic health record are positive, but the patient portal has yet to have needed consumer adoption. Further research and functionality are needed to increase portal registration and greater portal integration in patient care.

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