Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology


Oregon Health & Science University


This paper describes a unique, new software program: a portable, secure and interactive electronic personal health record, designed specifically for pregnant women in underserved, urban communities. Many women in urban, underserved communities do not have readily accessible and continuous access to pre-natal care, may get fragmented care at multiple facilities (“unregistered” patients) and may present to a provider in one or more of those facilities who is unfamiliar with her health history, family history and her prior physical examinations and indings, knowledge of which would contribute to a higher quality and safer prenatal visit / encounter. A portable, mobile, secure and interactive personal health record, designed specifically for pregnant women could replace the commonly used handwritten “paper card” format to record pre-natal care information. Such a card carried by the patient, sometimes referred to as a “Pregnancy Passport,” is sub-optimal in today’s contemporary healthcare and health information technology environment. A readily available Internet-based program / mobile smart phone / tablet application to collect, store and access personal prenatal healthcare information, designed specifically for the target population, could improve the quality of the point-of-service encounter for transient and “unregistered” patients arriving for pregnancy related care. As perinatal morbidity, mortality and prematurity rates are higher in urban, nderserved, minority communities, it should be prudent to utilize the many advantages of health information technologies to improve storage, access and retrieval to this important information as well as disseminate pregnancy related information based on decision support algorithms and the users’ current needs. Central to this project is the interface design including the web-portal, the evelopment of the code and the design of the SQL database. As this project is a new software platform, an evaluation to determine the optimal usability of the interface/portal, input modules, information retrieval modules, reliability of the database and queries, the extent of multi-browser support, and appropriate security controls were carried out. The usability of the program was evaluated using a 10 question, Likert scale survey. Obstetrics and Gynecology House staff, Nurse Mid-Wives, and a Nurse Practitioner practicing in an urban University eaching Hospital were asked to review the program and complete the survey. The results of the survey were over all positive and encouraging. The project is an exercise in computer programming, SQL database development, usability testing, website (portal) design and evaluation, and ultimately a beta implementation into a community health network of pregnant women and their providers.

The acceptance of the program designed for the project into the community, albeit limited in scope, was positive. Outcome studies on maternal and fetal benefits are lengthy in time and not within the scope of this Capstone Project but will be considered as successive iterations of the application are rolled out further into the community.




School of Medicine



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