Xerox Survey Finds Patients Need Assurance that Electronic Health Records are Secure
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Press release from the issuing company
ROCHESTER, N.Y., – More needs to be done to assure patients that their personal medical information will be safe and secure following the nationwide switch to Electronic Health Records (EHRs), according to results of a recent online survey conducted among 2,720 U.S. adults for Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) by Harris Interactive.
Nearly 80 percent of respondents who have concerns about digital medical records indicated stolen personal information by a computer hacker to be their number one worry, followed by the threat of lost, damaged or corrupted records at 64 percent and the misuse of information at 62 percent.
"The survey results indicate an urgent need for better patient-provider communication," said Paul Solverson, partner, strategic advisory services, ACS, A Xerox Company. "Providers need to start conveying the benefits of electronic records, particularly the security advantages over today's paper-based system."
And despite healthcare reform dominating the news for the last year, the survey indicates that respondents are still unclear on how EHRs impact them. Only 18 percent (up just 2 percent from Xerox's 2010 survey) of U.S. adults who have a healthcare provider have been approached by their provider to discuss EHRs.
Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., is launching its Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system at the end of this year. The system will allow EHRs to "follow" a patient as he or she moves through different departments of the hospital, enhancing the quality of care.
"When a patient moves from the Emergency Center to Radiology or Critical Care, for example, their EHRs will be immediately available to the various caregivers, greatly increasing patient safety and quality of care," said Dr. Paul E. LaCasse, president and CEO, Botsford Hospital.
The benefits of Botsford's EMR system, which is being implemented by Xerox, are already being communicated to staff. And, the hospital has a detailed communication plan in place for patients. "We consider communication and training an important part of implementation," added LaCasse. "It's essential to allay concerns and demonstrate what a powerful tool EHRs can be in providing quality healthcare."
In addition, this year's survey found that more than half of U.S. adults familiar with the conversion of paper records to digital records (51 percent) do believe that EHRs will result in better, more efficient care – up from last year's survey when only 49 percent agreed.
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