One in 14 Americans--seven percent--have used a personal health record, according to national survey of 1,849 people taken during December 2009 and January 2010. That figure compares with a 2.7 percent participation rate found in a Markle Foundation survey in 2008.

The California HealthCare Foundation sponsored the new survey. Washington-based Lake Research Partners conducted the survey from recruited panelists across the nation who have agreed to occasionally participate in surveys.

Survey respondents with PHRs say they have become more engaged in improving their health, feel more connected to their physicians, ask questions they wouldn't otherwise ask and take specific measures to improve their health.

Other survey results include:

* Fifteen percent of respondents in California have used a PHR, compared with 11 percent in the rest of the West, 6 percent in the Northeast, and 5 percent each in the Midwest and South.

* Seventy-one percent of PHR users are white, 59 percent are men, 55 percent are under age 45 and 51 percent graduated from college.

* Twenty-two percent are very familiar with providers using electronic health records and these respondents are more likely to want a PHR.

* Sixty-eight percent are concerned about the privacy of their health information, but two-thirds of those surveyed do not believe privacy concerns should prevent learning about technologies that can improve care.

The survey, "Consumers and Health Information Technology: A National Survey," is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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