Electronic Health Records - The New Future of Healthcare?
Electronic health resources are playing an increasingly important role in health care. However, the generational gap in technology usage presents a barrier for older populations to access online health records, which could affect their health outcomes. Using data on electronic personal health record (PHR) usage from the Cleveland Health Clinic, we fit a linear regression model with interactions to assess whether there is an association between PHR usage and diabetic outcome (quantified by HbA1c%), and whether this relationship depended on the user’s age. While controlling for confounding variables such as race, gender, sex, income, and BMI, PHR users had lower expected HbA1c% than nonusers (p<0.05), and the magnitude of the expected difference in HbA1c% depended on the user’s age (p<0.05). Results such as these indicate the importance of expanding access to populations who currently struggle to use technology to ensure the best health outcomes for all.