Patients show positive response to EHRs

Patients felt even more comfortable than physicians when it came to using an electronic health record (EHR) system--and also felt that the information contained in the record was more accurate when they physically saw it being entered electronically, according to a survey by Tampa-based Sage Healthcare Division.

Overall, the study found that more than 81 percent of patients and 62 percent of physicians had a positive perception of electronic documentation. About 45 percent of patients interviewed said they had a "very positive" perception of their physician or clinician documenting patient care with a computer or other electronic device.

"What we learned is patients like to see their verbatim information entered into the record as they said it--not as the doctor interpreted it," said Betty Otter-Nickerson, president of Sage Healthcare Division, which provides EHR and practice management systems.

In the survey, about 42 percent of the physicians used an EHR to document their patient care and about one in three used an an EHR during a patient encounter. More than 60 percent of physicians feel the best benefit to using EHR is the access they have to patient records in real time.

The majority of survey respondents agreed with the statement that EHR will help improve the quality of healthcare--78 percent of patients and 62 percent of physicians. However, while both physicians and patients believe EHRs will help improve the quality of healthcare, both groups expressed concerns about privacy and security: 81 percent of patients and 62 percent of physicians.

 For more information:
- see the Sage release
- view the Government Health IT article

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