Empowerment or anxiety? Research on deployment of online medical E-health services in Sweden



Editor's Summary

As early e-health efforts progress, it is critical to step back to study their effectiveness and inform expanded implementation. The DOME project is a Swedish research initiative to examine the methods and implications of providing patients access to their own medical records and other e-health services. The focus is on SUSTAINS, a patient access system established in 2012 in 11 European countries. Sweden's Uppsala county opened access to residents to view their electronic health records with provider notes, lab results, diagnoses and treatments in late 2012. Pre- and post-implementation studies are being carried out through DOME and mixing with the public debate on benefits and drawbacks of easy online access to personal health information. Supporters and critics share concern for quality of care and data security. But advocates focus on better decisions by empowered patients, while detractors, including many healthcare providers, see patient anxiety resulting from insufficient information and lack of consultation. The DOME project is providing the opportunity to analyze all sides of expanded access to electronic health records.