Implementing Health Information Technology in a Patient-Centered Manner: Patient Experiences With an Online Evidence-Based Lifestyle Intervention

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The patient-centered care (PCC) model and the use of health information technology (HIT) are major initiatives for improving U.S. healthcare quality and delivery. A lack of published data on patient perceptions of Internet-based care makes patient-centered implementation of HIT challenging. To help ascertain patients’ perceptions of an online intervention, patients completing a 1-year web-based lifestyle intervention were asked to complete a semistructured interview. We used qualitative methodology to determine frequency and types of interview responses. Overall satisfaction with program features was coded on a Likert-type scale. High levels of satisfaction were seen with the online lifestyle coaching (80%), self-monitoring tools (57%), and structured lesson features (54%). Moderated chat sessions and online resources were rarely used. Frequently identified helpful aspects were those that allowed for customized care and shared decision-making consistent with the tenets of PCC. Unhelpful program aspects were reported less often. Findings suggest that despite challenges for communicating effectively in an online forum, the personalized support, high-tech data management capabilities, and easily followed evidence-based curricula afforded by HIT may be a means of providing PCC and improving healthcare delivery and quality.

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