Aging is associated with comorbidities and increased utilization of healthcare services, which results in a large amount of personal health information (PHI) to manage. Older adults often have difficulty managing this increased load of health information. Although many home healthcare nurses (HCNs) provide assistance to older adults after discharge from medical facilities, little is known about HCNs' experiences with older adults regarding the management and transfer of PHI in their homes. The purpose of this qualitative study was to 1) determine how HCNs obtain and provide health information, 2) describe the perspective of HCNs regarding older adult PHI, and 3) identify the potential role of technology in older adult health information transfer. We conducted and analyzed semistructured phone interviews with 17 HCNs from two home healthcare agencies. Five thematic areas emerged from interviews with HCNs: 1) common practices of obtaining health information; 2) barriers to obtaining health information; 3) ideal ways to obtain and provide health information; 4) use of patient portals; and 5) HCNs' use of technology for health information exchange. Most HCNs reported that it would be difficult for older adult patients to update their PHI without assistance, but HCNs lack the time and resources to assist older adults in PHI management activities.
Youjeong Kang, PhD, MPH, CCRN, is an Assistant Professor, Health Systems & Community Based Care, University of Utah College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jean O. Taylor, PhD, is a Research Scientist, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, Washington.
Katie Osterhage, MMS, is a Research Scientist & Practice Facilitator, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Anne M. Turner, MD, MLIS, MPH, FACMI, is a Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, Washington.
This study was conducted with data from a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ-Grant # R01HS022106). Dr. Youjeong Kang was supported by an NINR Aging and Informatics Training grant (T32NR014833) through the University of Washington School of Nursing. The finding and conclusions expressed here are the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the AHRQ or the NINR.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Address for correspondence: Youjeong Kang, PhD, MPH, CCRN, 10 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (Youjeong.firstname.lastname@example.org).