In one of the most methodologically rigorous studies to date on health information technology, NORC at the University of Chicago has found that Americans favor use of electronic medical records (EMRs) by a wide margin (78 percent). The results of the NORC study are important because they appear to show popular support for initiatives of President George W. Bush in 2004 and President Barack Obama in 2009 to assure that all Americans have EMRs by 2014. The findings were published in the February edition of the journal, HSR: Health Services Research.
Other findings showed that
• 78 percent of Americans believe EMRs could improve care
• 59 percent believe EMRs could reduce health costs
• 72 percent support sharing of health care information among providers
• 80 percent favored use of e-prescribing (sending prescriptions electronically from the physician to the pharmacy)
• 79 percent thought that personal health records (an electronic record designed specifically for consumers to access over the web) would help patients to be better informed about their health.
• Despite the fact that 48 percent of Americans are concerned about the privacy of medical records, fully 64 percent said that the benefits of EMRs outweigh privacy concerns