Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.gov
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
Archive print banner

Health Care Access/Use

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

Availability of computerized health information does not appear to affect use of medical care

The availability of computerized health information via the Internet apparently does not affect demand for medical care, according to a study supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS09997). Todd H. Wagner, Ph.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Holly B. Jimison, Ph.D., of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, tested the effect of using computerized health information on physician visits. They determined computer information use by exposure to the Healthwise Communities Project, a community-wide health information intervention; computer ownership; and Internet access.

The researchers mailed questionnaires to random households in three cities before and after the Healthwise Communities Project. Based on the 5,909 surveys collected, use of computerized health information was not associated with self-reported entry into care or number of medical visits. More research is needed to determine whether computerized health information may affect location of care, timing of getting care, or the intensity of treatment.

See "Computerized health information and the demand for medical care," by Drs. Wagner and Jimison, in Value in Health 6(1), pp. 29-39, 2003.

Return to Contents
Proceed to Next Article

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care