Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair

Saleem, Jaseem

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Alexander, Suraj

Committee Member

Alexander, Suraj

Committee Member

Bohm, Matt

Author's Keywords

web-based; health records


Previous research on Personal Health Records (PHRs) has focused on applications that are “tethered” to a specific Electronic Health Record (EHR). However, this is a gap in research on the usability of unaffiliated, independent PHRs, as well as a gap in research on college-aged PHR users. Based on this gap in the literature, a single factor, within-subject experiment was conducted using 18 participants from the University of Louisville to determine if one PHR had superior usability and design. The testing included the completion of six tasks in three different PHRs. Dependent variables included task time, mouse movement, mouse clicks, keystrokes, errors, and usability survey results. The Computer System Usability Questionnaire (CSUQ), a validated survey instrument, was used for the usability survey. The experiment concluded with a follow up interview. ANOVA testing was completed on the results to determine the significance in the difference of the means. Results showed that several, but not all, measures had statistically and significantly different means. These included three survey categories, errors, and keystrokes. Though the hypothesis that all measures would be significantly different was partially supported, it can be concluded that Microsoft HealthVault has better usability than its tested counterparts, HealthSpek and Health Companion. The findings of this study could be used both by people looking to start using a PHR in the future and in findings obstacles to adoption of PHRs.