The attitudes that New Zealand Chinese and Korean people have toward sharing their health information in Electronic Health Records in Christchurch.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Health Sciences
Benefits of implementing electronic health records (EHRs) are well documented; however, some challenges impede their widespread use. The literature review provided evidence of concerns about privacy and security of information and a lack of full consumer involvement. Healthcare organisations must be prepared to anticipate and manage changes that will accompany the implementation of this new health information management system. With the promotion of EHRs by the US president, the UK government and the New Zealand Government’s health Information Strategy 2005 and the setting up of the New Zealand IT Health Plan makes future implementation and use of EHRs very likely. The objective of this study was to investigate the attitudes that Chinese and Korean health consumers in Christchurch hold towards the sharing of their health information in the EHR. The study further investigated how well informed that Chinese and Korean people are regarding the use and security of their health information. Participants (n=201) from a non-randomized convenience sample were recruited from affiliated and non-affiliated members of the Canterbury Partnership Health Organisation and who lived in the city of Christchurch. The strategy from recruitment was designed to search for people living in Christchurch who identify themselves as Chinese or Korean. The survey instrument, a self-assessment questionnaire, was completed by participants either by pencil and paper or online. Data comprised of subjects’ demographics, utilisation of health services and selected measure on perceptions of EHRs (computer use, EHR benefits and problems, and EHR security measures). Descriptive, crosstabulatons/chi-square statistics were also evaluated. xviii The findings of the study showed that neither gender nor age influenced the participants’ concerns about confidentiality of information in their medical record. Gender considered an important variable in the cross-cultural populations was relatively a non-significant influence with most of the variables examined except with the participants’ awareness of EHRs. Age appeared to have been more influential for participants associations with the selected measures. Computer use was negatively associated with security concerns for health information, that is the more people, used computers the less concerned they were regarding security. The study findings highlight the general concerns about security, confidentiality and privacy associated with health consumers and their medical records. The significant contributions of this study include the attitudes of Korean and Chinese ethnic groups and the implementation of EHRs. The findings may aid in implementing EHRs in a cultural sensitive manner, for example by (incorporating Yin and Yan; and Qi concepts). Areas of future research were highlighted such as (conducting qualitative research using focus groups or widening the geographic area to include Chinese and Korean people from New Zealand’s three or four largest cities such as Auckland). In conclusion the results provide evidence/empirical support on the perceptions of Chinese and Korean people toward EHRs and their medical information.