I am a Doctoral Candidate of Information Studies in the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University (FSU). My focus is on a consumer’s perspective of personal health technology usage. I have specifically studied the interest of college students to adopt personal health records (PHRs), a hermeneutical view into PHRs, barriers to physician adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), and means to overcome barriers to EHR adoption.
My consumer behavior focus of health information technology adoption has lead me to pursue a dissertation in information behavior that serves to inform development of personal health information technology, such as PHRs. Specifically, I strive to determine what health information items adults with diabetes keep in their home to help manage life with diabetes. This is a naturalistic, exploratory study that uses situational relevance as a means of investigating expressions of need.
My interest in health technology and impoverished consumers has developed through the years. Work experiences in biomechanics’ laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) provided a user perspective of health technology, and additional duties in the Assistive Technology Center of NRH provided insight into the information usage differences among user groups.
As the United States proceeds on its path toward a national health network that utilizes electronic records and strives to “empower” consumers, the consumer’s ability to seek, retrieve, understand, and make use of health information is crucial to a “successful” health policy. There are many questions that need addressed along the path; I plan to contribute to the literature, first through my dissertation, submitted for an NIH grant, currently entitled: The Situational Relevance of Kept Personal Health Documents: An Exploratory Study of Kept Articles As Expressions of Need.