News Feature | October 7, 2013

Patient EHR Education A Slow Process

Source: Health IT Outcomes
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

HTO Patient Engagement

Survey finds patients are confused about EHRs, 70 percent say providers haven’t given them enough information

A new survey from Xerox reveals two out of three patients feel their doctors have “not involved them in the transition to digital medical records.” According to a press release announcing the findings, “Xerox’s fourth annual EHR survey of 2,009 U.S. adults revealed that only 29 percent of those who have a doctor have been informed their medical records will be converted to digital format.”

It’s not all bad news on the EHR front, however, as the survey also shows, “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, respectively up 2 percent and 3 percent from last year.”

iHealthBeat writes the results of the Xerox survey show people “are confused or concerned about the transition from paper to digital health records.” They quote Charles Fred - president of health care provider solutions at Xerox -  as saying that in the past four years ‘health care providers have made tremendous strides in adopting EHRs, but there has been little to no change in Americans' acceptance of digital medical records.’"

Fred is further quoted in the Xerox release as saying, “Patients will soon have more access to their personal health information than ever before, but they need to be educated by providers on how this will empower them to take charge of their own care.”

iHealthBeat also notes 83 percent say they worry about the security of their information and 70 percent don’t want their records digitized. In addition, “Only 19 percent of respondents said they currently have online access to their health records.”

eWeek notes the importance of educating patients, writing, “Health-care providers seeking to earn Meaningful Use Stage 2 incentives ... 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.”

View an infographic produced by Xerox HERE