EHRs Gain Ground With Patients, But Resistance Remains

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Some 56 million U.S. consumers have accessed their medical information on an electronic health record (EHR) system maintained by their physician, and an additional 41 million are interested in doing so. So indicates Cybercitizen Health® U.S. 2011, a study of consumer digital health trends conducted by Manhattan Research, a New York City, New York-based health care research firm, and incorporating the viewpoints of 8,745 U.S. adults age 18 and over. But despite strong growth in EHR adoption and awareness, 140 million individuals queried for the study said they have never used an EHR system and are not interested in accessing medical records from an EHR system maintained by their physician. Compared to consumers who do access their medical data on an EHR, the audience not interested in doing so is older, less educated, and significantly less likely to use the Internet or own sophisticated electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. A concurrent Taking the Pulse® U.S. physician study executed by Manhattan research found that EHR adoption is rising among doctors, and will likely accelerate as iPads and other tablets facilitate EHR access for doctors on the move throughout the workday. "Growth in access of electronic health records by patients has been remarkable in the last year,” said Manhattan Research President Meredith Ressi in a statement. “There’s been strong pent-up demand from consumers over the years, but only now has the supply side caught up as a result of the government mandate. This is the beginning of a real shift in care delivery and patient engagement.” Request the report.