The Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement reveals that many US consumers (41 percent) are willing to switch doctors in order to gain online access to their electronic medical records (EMRs).
The survey showed that only a third of US consumers (36 percent) currently have full EMR access, but more than half of patients (57 percent) are already taking ownership of their record by self-tracking their personal health information—including their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and health indicators (33 percent).
Surprisingly, the survey revealed that while just over one-quarter of doctors (28 percent) say their patients can access their medical information online, 43 percent of consumers say they can access their information with their current provider.
“The rise of Meaningful Use mandates and a growing trend of self-care among consumers is shifting the role of an EMR from a mere clinical repository to a platform for shared decision-making among patients and doctors,” said Kaveh Safavi M.D., J.D., Managing Director – Accenture Health & Public Service, North America. “Just as patients can self-manage most other aspects of their lives, they expect to take greater ownership of their medical care, and they are willing to change doctors who share their values and provide access to patient records.”
Roughly four out of five consumers (84 percent) surveyed believe they should have full access to their electronic medical record, while only a third of physicians (36 percent) share this belief. In contrast, the majority of US doctors (65 percent) say patients should have limited access and aligns with what most (63 percent) currently have.
“Early evidence suggests the benefits of allowing people to have greater access to their records can actually outweigh the risks,” said Safavi. “When patients are part of the record-keeping process, it can increase their understanding of conditions, improve motivation and serve as a clear differentiator for clinical care.”
Accenture consumer survey on patient engagement—virtual waiting room infographic
Can electronic medical records make or break the patient relationship? Accenture Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement shows many consumers are willing to switch physicians to gain online access to electronic medical records.