41% of Americans Would Consider Physician Switch for EHR Access

Forty-one percent of U.S. consumers would consider changing health care providers to be able to access their electronic health records online, according to a new survey from Accenture, Becker's Hospital Review reports (Gregg, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/16).

Harris Interactive conducted the online survey for Accenture. In July, researchers polled 9,015 adults age 18 and older from nine countries, including about 1,000 U.S. residents (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 9/16).

Survey Findings

The survey found that 36% of U.S. consumers have full access to their EHRs (Walsh, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 9/16). Almost one-third of all respondents said they cannot currently access their records online, while another quarter is unsure if they have such access to their EHRs.

When U.S. consumers were asked about specific online capabilities:

  • 48% said they could request prescription refills;
  • 43% said they had access to medical records;
  • 43% said they could request appointments;
  • 36% said they could email with medical providers; and
  • 36% said they had access to electronic reminders.

The survey found that consumers want more access to such online services. It found that:

  • 82% of consumers value EHR access;
  • 77% value online scheduling;
  • 76% value prescription refill requests;
  • 74% value email and text reminders; and
  • 69% value email communication with providers.

In addition, 98% of consumers said they believe they should have access to their EHRs, with:

  • 84% saying they want full EHR access; and
  • 81% saying they want the ability to update their own records.

The survey noted that consumer priorities varied with age. For example, 18- to 24-year-olds preferred online scheduling, reminders and email communication, while older consumers were more likely to value online access to their medical records (Terry, InformationWeek, 9/17). 

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