Physicians, patients disagree about EHR safety

Physicians are more likely than their patients to view electronic health record systems as safer than paper records, according to a survey released this week by web-based EHR vendor Practice Fusion. 

Conducted by research company GfK Roper, the survey found that a little more than half of responding physicians (54 percent) believe that EHRs are safer, while only 39 percent of patients feel the same. Inversely, only 18 percent of physicians see paper records as the safer alternative, compared with 47 percent of patients who say that paper is safer.

Of the physicians and patients who believe EHRs to be safer, access to records was determined to be the greatest benefit of going electronic, with 63 percent of physicians and a whopping 95 percent of patients indicating as much.

More than 1,000 patients and 1,200 medical professionals were surveyed.

"As a practicing physician using an EHR, I understand the benefits and some of the concerns both physicians and patients have," Dr. Robert Rowley, medical director at Practice Fusion, said in a statement. "With more education about why EHRs are safer than paper charts, we'll see even more physicians switching from paper and patients demanding a digital solution."

Eleven percent of physicians indicate that one of the main benefits of EHRs is protection of records from theft or loss, while 10 percent say they'll continue to use paper records, as they see "no need to change the system."

To learn more:
- here's Practice Fusion's press release