Why it’s important to educate your patients about EMRs

HealthcareIT_Oct02_AHealth-care providers may be racing to adopt electronic medical records (EMRs) and collect federal incentive payments, but few are stopping to explain how it all works to patients – and that can be a mistake, according to a new survey.

The fourth annual Xerox EMR survey asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults how they felt about their doctor’s current or future use of EMRs. The answer: Only 29 percent had even been informed that their medical records would be converted to digital format, and only 32 percent want the change. The vast majority – 83 percent – have significant concerns about the privacy and security of EMRs.

While those numbers are a small improvement over the results in previous years, they still indicate that health-care providers need to do a better job educating their patients about EMRs if they want to empower them to take charge of their own health care.

Also, remember: If you’re seeking to earn meaningful use Stage 2 incentives, you have one year to make patients’ medical records available via online portals, and you must get at least 5 percent of patients to access the data. That’s going to be a challenge, as only 19 percent of the U.S. adults surveyed have access to their medical records online.

If you are looking for ways to get your files online and shared, please contact us today to see how we can help.

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