|May 2009 · Vol. 21, No. 05
Should the patient have access to her electronic health record?
Many consumers not only look forward to EHR—they want access
The $19 billion allocated in the stimulus package to help jump start advances in health information technology has whetted many providers’ appetite for electronic health records (EHRs)—but they aren’t the only people looking forward to streamlined recordkeeping. Consumers, too. are eager for the switch to EHRs and other online tools and services, according to a recent survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions in Chicago (www.deloitte.com/dtt/section_node/0,1042,sid%253D80772,00.html).
Although only 9% of consumers surveyed have an electronic personal health record (PHR), 42% are interested in establishing one that is connected online to their physician. Fifty-five percent want the ability to communicate with their doctor via email to exchange health information and get answers to questions. Fifty-seven percent would be interested in scheduling appointments, buying prescriptions, and completing other transactions online, provided their information is protected. And nearly half (47%) like the idea of technologies that can facilitate consumer transactions with providers and health plans, such as integrated billing systems that make bill payment faster and more convenient.