Background: Little is known about "new media" use, defined as media content created or consumed on demand on an electronic device, by patients in emergency department (ED) settings. The application of this technology has the potential to enhance health care beyond the index visit.
Objective: The objectives are to determine the prevalence and characteristics of ED patients' use of new media and to then define and identify the potential of new media to transcend health care barriers and improve the public's health.
Methods: Face-to-face, cross-sectional surveys in Spanish and English were given to 5,994 patients who were sequentially enrolled from July 12 to August 30, 2012. Data were collected from across a Southern Connecticut health care system's 3 high-volume EDs for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks. The EDs were part of an urban academic teaching hospital, an urban community hospital, and an academic affiliate hospital.
Results: A total of 5,994 (89% response rate) ED patients reported identical ownership of cell phones (85%, P.05) and personal health records (P
Conclusions: There is a critical mass of ED patients who use new media. Older persons are less comfortable texting and using smartphone apps. Income status has a positive relationship with smartphone ownership and use of smartphone apps. Regardless of income, however, texting and ownership of smartphones was highest for Latinos and black non-Latinos. These findings have implications for expanding health care beyond the ED visit through the use of cell phones, smartphones, texting, the Internet, and health care apps to improve the health of the public.
- medical informatics
- new media
- health care services
- personal health management
- mobile phones
- HEALTH INFORMATION-TECHNOLOGY
- SOCIAL MEDIA
- MISSING DATA
- ELDER ABUSE
- MULTIPLE IMPUTATION
- BRIEF INTERVENTION