Government officials, hospital CIOs and physicians have seen the benefits of electronic health records (EHRs). However, a new survey illustrates that patients are not as much in favor of digital records as others in the healthcare sector.
American Medical News reported the results of a Xerox poll that shows only 26 percent of patients want their medical records to be digital. Out of the 2,100 respondents, only 40 percent felt that EHRs would bring more efficient care while 85 percent were distressed in some aspect over electronic medical records.
The main concerns had to do with stolen and leaked information (63 percent), lost, corrupted or destroyed files (50 percent), power outages causing doctors the inability to access their information (50 percent) and the misuse of the private data (51 percent).
An article from InformationWeek Healthcare, however, mentioned that hospital providers can use EHR technology to support hospital discharge procedures and manage the reduction of hospital readmissions. There are specific systems built in place to follow patients more closely after discharge to ensure they are not readmitted back into a medical organization.
For instance, the EHR can be used to develop a transition plan and include when to make necessary phone calls and follow-ups after a patient undergoes serious surgery or is treated for pneumonia or another severe disease. Nonetheless, more advancement in IT systems is needed.
"We have not yet done a lot of work on enough extensions of the EHR, new enhancements to the technology, or possibly bridge applications that fit in between," Jane Metzger, author of "Preventing Hospital Readmissions: The First Test Case for Continuity of Care," told the news source.
As medical practices and hospitals adopt EHRs, patients will need to be assured that these new systems are in their best interest. Bringing in medical scribes who have been trained in EHR use, proper documentation and medical terminology will go a long way in showing patients the benefits of this technology. Doctors will be able to pay close attention to patients as scribes handle the data entry processes of a visit.