The adoption of electronic health records has grown in recent years as the U.S. government’s incentive plans and the benefits of these systems are realized by more and more office-based physicians. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimates that more than half of office-based physicians have adopted a basic EHR, while just over 10 percent have adopted a fully functional system. As adoption of advanced health information technologies increases, EHR systems will impact patients and physicians alike. With this in mind, a survey was conducted with both patients and physicians to determine attitudes about the adoption of EHR., below is the survey synopsis.
The study examines the effect of implementing an electronic health record system on both physicians and their patients. The purpose is to understand how the perceptions of physicians who use EHR systems differ or are similar to the perceptions of the patients who recall seeing their physician use the system. The results of the study will help design solutions that maximize the benefit to physicians and their patients.
About 42% physicians use an electronic health record solution to document their patient care and about 1 in 3 uses an EHR during a patient encounter.
Overall, 62% of physicians and 81% of patients have a positive perception of documenting patient care electronically.
Forty-five percent of patients had a “very positive” perception of their physician or clinician documenting patient care with a computer or other electronic device
More than 60 % of physicians feel the best benefit to using EHR is the access they have to patient records in real time.
Physicians also believe that the ability to seamlessly share information with other doctors, pharmacies and payers are one among the most important benefits.
The majority of survey respondents agreed with the statement that EHR will help improve the quality of health care (78% of patients; 62% of physicians).
While both physicians and patients believe that EHR will help improve the quality of healthcare, both groups have concerns about privacy and the security of EHR (81% of patients; 62% of physicians).
Given their use of and exposure to the security measures used to keep electronic medical records secure, physicians using an EHR have fewer concerns about the security of records.
Forty-seven percent of patients recall seeing their physicians or nurse/assistant taking notes in a computer of other electronic device while only 39% of patients saw their physicians or their nurse/assistant taking notes directly into a computer during treatment,
Results: Physicians and patients agreed on the benefits of using electronic devices to document patient care during an encounter. The most important benefits of EHR systems agreed upon by the two groups are:
- Gives the physician access to patients’ medical records and history in real time.
- When appropriate, helps the physician securely and seamlessly share information with other doctors, pharmacies and payers.
- Helps the physician make good decisions about patient care, ultimately driving the quality of patient care.
Overall, most physicians and patients agree that medical records stored electronically will help improve patient care. Within this study, findings agree that physicians and other clinicians are quick to point out that EHR is a tool to help them become better doctors. As with other types of businesses, patients are increasingly expecting that their doctor offer them access to electronic medical records, and patient e-tools, whenever and however they want and as a result are driving the adoption of electronic health records.
Methodology: The study was conducted online from 12/8/2010 to 12/21/2010. The survey was sent to 7,738 physicians or other clinical users of a Sage product or service. The patient survey was sent to 18,000 healthcare consumers. Statistically, the sample size is large enough that the findings are applicable to the population.
About the Author
Tony Ryzinski, Senior Vice President, Marketing of Sage Healthcare Division , he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing within the healthcare market. Ryzinski’s professional career has been fully involved in the healthcare field.
About Sage Healthcare Division
They provide integrated electronic health records, EDI applications and practice management systems to approximately 80,000 physicians and thousands of ambulatory care practices throughout North America. These systems enable physicians and practice managers to better manage their practices and improve quality of care. This division is based in Tampa, Fla., and is a division of Sage North America. For more information, please visit www.sagehealth.com or call (877) 932-6301.