Most patients are willing to engage with health IT tools, but many physicians say they do not have the capability to allow such interaction, according to a report from the Optum Institute and Harris Interactive, Healthcare IT News reports (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 9/24).
For the report, the Optum Institute contracted with Harris Interactive to survey 400 hospital executives, 1,000 physicians and 2,870 U.S. adults between May 20 and June 12.
The report found that 75% of surveyed patients said they are interested in accessing their medical records online, and 62% said they are interested in communicating with their primary care physician through email or other Web-based technology.
However, only 40% of surveyed physicians said they have the ability to give patients access to their online health records or interact with patients through email.
The report also found that:
- 76% of surveyed patients said they are interested in going online to view their test results; and
- 65% of surveyed patients said they are interested in receiving appointment reminders via email.
In addition, the report found that:
- 70% of surveyed physicians said they use electronic health record systems, up from 55% who reported using EHR systems in November 2011; and
- 46% of surveyed physicians said they currently have an EHR system that provides patients with personalized information to help them manage and make decisions about their health (Parmar, MedCity News, 9/20).
Optum Officials Comment on Findings
Simon Stevens, chair of the Optum Institute, said, "Nearly two decades after email has become widespread, most patients say they want to -- but still can't -- email their care provider" (Healthcare IT News, 9/24).
Carol Simon, director of the Optum Institute, in a statement said, "While hospitals and physicians have made considerable progress in adopting new technologies, our research underscores the pressing need to increase the level of patient-facing technology to create strong, two-way patient-physician communication" (MedCity News, 9/20).