Patients not pleased with electronic records, new poll reveals

August 8, 2012

You may be learning to love your EHR, but your patients don't share your enthusiasm. Find out why.

Many of your patients have misgivings about your use of electronic health records (EHRs), according to a survey conducted for Xerox. What can you do to ease their concerns?

The company’s third annual online survey of 2,147 adults aged at least 18 years reveals that only 26% of those asked want their medical records to be digital. And many of those asked said they fear that their personal health information is not safe.

“We continue to see a resistance to change from consumers-meaning providers need to continue to educate Americans on the value of EHRs,” says Chad Harris, group president, Xerox Healthcare Provider Solutions.

Although 87% of the respondents said they are familiar with the paper-to-digital conversion of records, you can help alleviate their fears by explaining the security measures your EHR system requires.

Other survey findings:

  • 74% of respondents said their doctors have not involved them in the conversion process, either by explaining it to them or asking them to sign a consent form.

  • 63% said they fear that their personal information could be stolen or the system hacked.
  • 60% of participants who recently visited a doctor or hospital said their health information was put directly into a tablet, laptop, or computer located in the exam    room, whereas 28% said this information was handwritten.

  • 51% think their personal information could be misused.
  • 40% believe digital records will lead to “better, more efficient care.”
  • 31% believe they know when and how their medical records are being used (such as sharing with specialists and insurance companies).
  • 25% think problems will occur before EHRs work as intended.

The company says it is working on new technologies designed to simplify the sharing of information, including Xerox LiveKey and a new user interface for Midas+ Live. In addition, its PARC division has developed the Digital Nurse Assistant as well as other technology tools.

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