Patients Like Health Information Technology

Health Information Technology (“HIT”) is defined as involving the design, development, creation, use, and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare industry.  One such example is the Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) which has seen more implementations since the HITECH Act of 2009.  It is believed by many that automated and interoperable healthcare information systems will lower costs, improve efficiency, and reduce error, while also providing better patient care and service.  There are many disrupting technologies impacting the healthcare industry at this time, causing a shift in the manner in which healthcare is delivered.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute conducted a survey and published the results in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.  The researchers surveyed over 1,400 providers and over 1,100 consumers.  Here are some highlights of the survey’s findings:

92% of consumers believe access to medical records could lead to better management of patient health;  only 73% of providers shared that belief.

90% of providers are concerned that patients would experience anxiety after accessing their EHR; 34% of consumers shared that concern.

82% of providers surveyed stated that patients accessing their EHR would lead to requests for unnecessary medical evaluations; only 25% of consumers surveyed believed that to be true.

65% of consumers approved of using smartphones for collecting heart rate data; 60% of providers concurred.

42% of consumers have privacy and security concerns with HIT; 35% of providers surveyed shared that concern.

40% of consumers surveyed are more likely to prefer new technologies for medical diagnosis; only 14% of providers had that preference.

39% of physicians feel that patients own their medical record (I’m surprised to see such a low percentage given all the legal and health management education that has been given to physicians over the years.)

28% of providers reported feeling uneasy about using technology for a diagnosis; only 16% of consumers had similar feelings.

The survey also showed a high percentage of both providers and consumers supported genetic testing for various purposes.  The survey as reported in the Journal of Medical Internet Research can be found here.


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