Most Americans Don’t Yet Perceive the Benefits of EHRs

http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2011/07/22/most-americans-don%E2%80%99t-yet-perceive-the-benefits-of-eh/

Posted July 22, 2011 by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

In a blog posted on The Health Care Blog.com,
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a health economist and management consultant in healthcare technology, discusses the findings of a study commissioned by Xerox. It reports “that 83% of people have concerns about digital medical records. The most concerning issue is that “my” personal health information could be hacked, cited by two-thirds of people. The second most common concern is that digital medical record files could be lost, damaged or corrupted (noted by 54%) and that personal health information could be misused (52%). Another worry is that a power outage or computer problem could prevent providers from accessing health information, cited by 52% of people surveyed.” She concludes that there is a “need for education and raising awareness of EHRs.”

Merle Bushkin, Founder and CEO of Health Record Corporation, posted several comments to this blog. He says these consumer concerns are well founded and shouldn’t be ignored, and that we’re not making progress (with the adoption of electronic health records, EHRs) because we’re defining the problem incorrectly. He writes “the problem isn’t how to make a patient’s records available over the Internet. The problem is two-fold and requires separate, independent solutions. One is how doctors should keep records. The other is how to make a patient’s records available to their care providers when and where they need them.”

He believes every doctor and hospital should keep electronic records but that the systems available today don’t work for care providers. He writes: “We need to encourage the development of new systems that actually help and benefit them (i.e., care providers).” Similarly, on the issue of how to make a patient’s lifetime health record available to their care providers, he suggests we need a different kind of system, one that doesn’t store patient records on the Internet-accessible servers. He says the system should be patient-focused and give the patient control of their aggregated lifetime medical record which they, in turn, can give to their care provider when they seek care. The MedKaz System works just that way. It avoids the problems cited by consumers in the Xerox study. It also could be the precursor of a new generation of EMR systems for providers.

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