ROCHESTER, N.Y. - More needs to be done to assure patients that their personal medical information will be safe and secure following the nationwide switch to Electronic Health Records (EHRs), according to results of a recent online survey conducted among 2,720 U.S. adults for Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) by Harris Interactive.
Nearly 80 percent of respondents who have concerns about digital medical records indicated stolen personal information by a computer hacker to be their number one worry, followed by the threat of lost, damaged or corrupted records at 64 percent and the misuse of information at 62 percent.
"The survey results indicate an urgent need for better patient-provider communication," said Paul Solverson, partner, strategic advisory services, ACS, A Xerox Company. "Providers need to start conveying the benefits of electronic records, particularly the security advantages over today's paper-based system."
And despite healthcare reform dominating the news for the last year, the survey indicates that respondents are still unclear on how EHRs impact them. Only 18 percent (up just 2 percent from Xerox's 2010 survey) of U.S. adults who have a healthcare provider have been approached by their provider to discuss EHRs.
Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., is launching its Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system at the end of this year. The system will allow EHRs to "follow" a patient as he or she moves through different departments of the hospital, enhancing the quality of care.
"When a patient moves from the Emergency Center to Radiology or Critical Care, for example, their EHRs will be immediately available to the various caregivers, greatly increasing patient safety and quality of care," said Dr. Paul E. LaCasse, president and CEO, Botsford Hospital.
The benefits of Botsford's EMR system, which is being implemented by Xerox, are already being communicated to staff. And, the hospital has a detailed communication plan in place for patients. "We consider communication and training an important part of implementation," added LaCasse. "It's essential to allay concerns and demonstrate what a powerful tool EHRs can be in providing quality healthcare."
In addition, this year's survey found that more than half of U.S. adults familiar with the conversion of paper records to digital records (51 percent) do believe that EHRs will result in better, more efficient care - up from last year's survey when only 49 percent agreed.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xerox Corporation from May 5 - 9, 2011 among 2,720 adults ages 18 and older. The survey in 2010 was conducted Feb. 17 - 19, 2010 among 2,180 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please see below media contacts.
Xerox Corporation is a $22 billion leading global enterprise for business process and document management. Through its broad portfolio of technology and services, Xerox provides the essential back-office support that clears the way for clients to focus on what they do best: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox provides leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size. Through ACS, A Xerox Company, which Xerox acquired in February 2010, Xerox also offers extensive business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services, including data processing, HR benefits management, finance support, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The 134,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com, http://news.xerox.com, http://www.realbusiness.com or http://www.acs-inc.com. For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.