Physicians Believe EHRs are Safer than Paper Records, Patients Evenly Split

San Francisco - November 2, 2011 - Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are becoming more common in exam rooms across the US but how is the technology transition being perceived? A survey conducted by GfK Roper for Practice Fusion asked patients about their views on the safety of EHR versus paper charts while a separate survey posed the same questions to medical professionals. The results: a majority of physicians reported that EHRs are safer than their paper record counterparts, citing accessibility of data as the top safety benefit. Patient perception mixed with 47 percent stating that paper was safer and 39 percent believing that EHRs are actually the safer option.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems vs. paper medical charts:
Physicians agreed that EHRs (54 percent) are safer with only 18 percent of respondents selecting paper as the safer option

  • Of doctors who said EHRs were safer, access to records when needed is the top benefit (63 percent)
  • Doctors who select paper charts as the safer option believed that paper is more secure because it is less likely to be hacked or lost (36 percent)

Patient views on medical records were mixed with 47 percent believing that paper is safer and 39 percent believing that EHRs are safer

  • Of patients who said EHRs were safer, 77 percent strongly agree that being able to access records when needed is the greatest benefit of EHRs over paper
  • Of patients who said paper charts were safer, 59 percent agree or strongly agree that paper records are the more private option and allow for more control over who sees those records

"The medical community is rejecting paper charts and embracing technology," said Robert Rowley, MD, Practice Fusion's Medical Director. "As a practicing physician using an EHR, I understand the benefits and some of the concerns both physicians and patients have. 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."

Practice Fusion, the fastest growing EHR community in the Unites States, applies the highest level of data infrastructure, virus prevention and encryption measures to ensure bank-level security of medical records. Records stored in Practice Fusion's private cloud are securely accessible to doctors 24/7 and protected against fire, flood, theft or loss. Doctors can grant patients access to their records in real-time online using the Practice Fusion Personal Health Record (PHR). Practice Fusion meets and exceeds all HIPAA security requirements.

Survey methodology

The Practice Fusion "EHR vs Paper Charts" study was conducted via an omnibus survey on October 21-23 2011. The GfK Roper OmniTel survey is a weekly national phone survey of US households. Interviews were conducted from among a nationally representative sample of 1,006 adults age 18 or older. The margin of error on weighted data is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.

The physician survey was conducted online on October 28, 2011 using the same questions with a sample of 1,220 medical professionals.

About Practice Fusion

Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to physicians. With charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, lab integrations, referral letters, Meaningful Use certification, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion's EHR addresses the complex needs of today's healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo. Practice Fusion is the fastest growing EHR community in the country with more than 100,000 users serving 24 million patients. The company closed a $23 million Series B round of financing led by Founders Fund in April 2011. For more information about Practice Fusion, please visit
Press Contact - Stephanie Schlegel


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