Majority of consumers skeptical about EHR use

An estimated 56 million people have viewed their medical data on an electronic health record maintained by their doctor, and another 41 million are interested in doing so, according to a new survey released by Manhattan Research. Despite such growth, however, a majority of adult patients are skeptical about accessing their health information via a doctor's EHR.

More than half of American adults--140 million people--were estimated to have not accessed their medical records via their physicians' EHRs, and had no desire to do so. According to the survey, those who weren't interested were older, less educated and "significantly" less likely to use the Internet or electronic devices. 

The company's figures are based on its survey of 8,745 American adults in the third quarter of 2011.

While the survey didn't specify how patients accessed their doctor's EHRs, they likely did so through a patient portal made available by their doctor, or via a CD or thumb drive given to them by their physician, according to an InformationWeek Healthcare article.

"Growth in access of electronic health records by patients has been remarkable in the last year," Manhattan Research President Meredith Ressi said 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."  

To learn more:
- read Manhattan Research's press release
- here's the InformationWeek Healthcare article 
- check out iHealthBeat's coverage

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