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Survey: Slow Progress in Patient Knowledge of EHRs

October 1, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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While more healthcare providers continue to adopt electronic health records (EHRs), a recent survey revealed the need for doctors to educate consumers about digital medical records to comply with upcoming federal mandates.

According to the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, which was sponsored by Xerox, just 29 percent of those who have a doctor have been informed their medical records will be converted to digital format. While this shows a 13-point improvement from four years ago, the survey results continued to show that the majority of Americans (83 percent) have concerns—such as security—about EHRs and less than one-third (32 percent) want their medical records to be digital (compared to 82 percent and 26 percent in 2010, respectively).

Healthcare providers seeking to earn Stage 2 meaningful use incentives, which first become available for hospitals on Oct. 1, will have one year to make patients' medical records available via online portals and must have 5 percent of their patients actually access the data. Currently, only 19 percent of the U.S. adults surveyed have access to their medical records online.

Despite continued resistance and slow progress, Americans do see some benefits of EHRs, with 62 percent agreeing that they will reduce overall healthcare costs and 73 percent believing that EHRs will improve the quality of service they receive from their healthcare provider, up 2 percent and 3 percent respectively from last year.

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