ElectronicHealthcare 9(2) August 2010 : e10-e15

Computer-Based Risk Assessment: Evaluating Use in Primary Care

Gayle Halas, Alan Katz and Dean Jin


Family physicians could enhance patient health through disease prevention by addressing individual's health behaviours. With increasing interest in improving prevention activities and health information technologies, we developed a computer-based risk assessment tool to facilitate prevention counselling in primary care. Using a touch-screen computer, patients provide information regarding various risk behaviours, and the assessment tool generated a physician report for use during the patient's visit. The main objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the process of implementing the assessment tool, using patient questionnaires as well as physician and clinic staff focus groups. The tool was found to be an easy and acceptable means for collecting and conveying information about patients' health-related behaviours. Physicians found the information useful, and most clinics could integrate the tool into practice. Empirical evidence and users' opinions are an important step toward optimizing and sustaining a computer-based prevention initiative within family practice.



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