Nov. 3, 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 report that EHRs are safer than their paper record counterparts, citing accessibility of data as the top safety benefit. Patient perception is mixed with 47 percent stating that paper is 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 say EHRs are safer, access to records when needed is the top benefit (63 percent)
Doctors who select paper charts as the safer option believe that paper is more secure because it is less likely to be hacked or lost (36 percent)
Patient views on medical records are mixed. 47 percent believe that paper is safer and 39 percent believe that EHRs are safer.
Of patients who say EHRs are safer, 77 percent strongly agree that being able to access records when needed is the greatest benefit of EHRs over paper
Of patients who say 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.”
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.