Rationale and Objectives: Inefficient transfer of personal health records among providers negatively impacts quality of health care and increases cost. This multicenter study evaluates the implementation of the first Internet-based image-sharing system that gives patients ownership and control of their imaging exams, including assessment of patient satisfaction. Materials and Methods: Patients receiving any medical imaging exams in four academic centers were eligible to have images uploaded into an online, Internet-based personal health record. Satisfaction surveys were provided during recruitment with questions on ease of use, privacy and security, and timeliness of access to images. Responses were rated on a five-point scale and compared using logistic regression and McNemar's test. Results: A total of 2562 patients enrolled from July 2012 to August 2013. The median number of imaging exams uploaded per patient was 5. Most commonly, exams were plain X-rays (34.7%), computed tomography (25.7%), and magnetic resonance imaging (16.1%). Of 502 (19.6%) patient surveys returned, 448 indicated the method of image sharing (Internet, compact discs [CDs], both, other). Nearly all patients (96.5%) responded favorably to having direct access to images, and 78% reported viewing their medical images independently. There was no difference between Internet and CD users in satisfaction with privacy and security and timeliness of access to medical images. A greater percentage of Internet users compared to CD users reported access without difficulty (88.3% vs. 77.5%, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: A patient-directed, interoperable, Internet-based image-sharing system is feasible and surpasses the use of CDs with respect to accessibility of imaging exams while generating similar satisfaction with respect to privacy.
- Image sharing
- Integrating the healthcare enterprise
- Personal health record
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging