While 87% of U.S. adults are familiar with health providers converting paper medical records into digital records, only 26% — 1 in 4 — say they want their own medical records to go digital.
This sobering statistic comes as hundreds of thousands of doctors and hospitals are migrating to electronic health records (EHRs), motivated by the U.S. government’s HITECH act which provides incentives for the adoption and so-called meaningful use of EHRs.
The chart illustrates several key consumer perceptions among all patients
- 40% of people believe that digital records mean better, more efficient care
- 40% believe the move to digital records is necessary
- 25% see adoption of EHRs as a huge undertaken that will be “riddled” with problems before they work well
- 8% are each excited or frightened by the prospect of EHRs in their future.
Of those health consumers who have seen a health care provider, 26% say their providers have involved them in some way in the conversion from paper to digital records. These interactions could have involved signing consent forms for the conversion of the records, educating patients about access to their electronic records, and other encounters.
Health Populi’s Hot Points:These findings from Xerox contrast with the survey from the CDC published earlier this month about physicians’ adoption of and early experience with EHRs, covered here in Health Populi. The topline of this physician survey is that most doctors are generally satisfied with their first wave of EHR adoption.
Patients — health citizens, all — need to learn more about EHRs and why they underpin a modernized U.S. health system. In the coming months, several campaigns will be promoting the use of EHRs by providers and patients. One will be a broadcast and video campaign from the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT promoting the concept of EHRs, their benefits and rationale, and consumers’ opportunities for engaging with them. Stay tuned for a clever animated segment to be launched at HealthIT.gov on August 7, 2012.