Inability to access medical records top patient worry in survey

September 16, 2010

Inability to access their own medical records when needed was the top worry of respondents to a survey conducted by GfK Roper for electronic health record company Practice Fusion.

Inability to access their own medical records when needed was the top worry of respondents to a survey conducted by GfK Roper for electronic health record (EHR) company Practice Fusion. It was cited by 27.6% of respondents and outweighed worries about inaccuracy, theft, accidental destruction, ER availability, or referral of personal medical records.

"The message is clear: patients want access to their medical records, and they want it now," said Ryan Howard, chief executive officer of Practice Fusion.

Regarding other medical record-related issues, according to the survey:

19.2% of respondents cited a concern that their records would contain inaccurate or outdated information.

16.0% of participants expressed a worry that their records would be stolen or used fraudulently.

13.1% of respondents said they were concerned that their records would be lost or destroyed by accident.

12.2% of participants said they worried that their records would not be accessible to an emergency room.

11.9% of respondents said they were concerned that their records would not carry over to a new doctor.

Other survey findings:

Men who responded were more concerned about inaccurate or outdated records than women (22.4% versus 16.3%).

Concern about record availability in an emergency room increased significantly with age of participant (2.9% for those aged 18 to 24 years versus 21.4% for those aged more than 65 years).

Inability to access medical records remained consistent as the top concern across all respondent income levels, genders, and regions.