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U.S. Consumers Will Switch Docs to Gain EMR Access, Survey Says

September 16, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Supporting the growing trend toward patient engagement, a recent survey from the N.Y.-based health IT services vendor Accenture found that many U.S. consumers (41 percent) would be willing to switch doctors to gain online access to their own electronic medical records (EMR).

The survey, of more than 9,000 people in nine countries, showed that only about a third of U.S. consumers (36 percent) currently have full access to their EMR, but more than half (57 percent) have taken ownership of their record by self-tracking their personal health information, including their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and health indicators (33 percent), such as blood pressure and weight.

Roughly four out of five consumers (84 percent) surveyed believe they should have full access to their EMR while only a third of physicians (36 percent) share this belief.  In contrast, the majority of U.S. doctors (65 percent) say patients should only have limited access to their records, and that is what most individuals (63 percent) say they currently have.

Accenture conducted an online survey of 9,015 adults ages 18+ to assess consumer perceptions of their medical providers’ electronic capabilities across nine countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the U.S. The survey, which included 1,000 U.S. consumers, was fielded by Harris Interactive in July 2013. Where relevant, the survey compares select findings from the Accenture Doctors Survey to compare the doctor and consumer responses.

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