Do Your EHR Manners Turn Patients Off?

Paul Cerrato, MA

Disclosures

September 17, 2013

In This Article

How Patients Generally Feel About EHRs

Despite some patients' dissatisfaction with EHRs, most surveys suggest that they are pretty positive about these systems in general.

A recent study that looked at nearly 400,000 patients enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Northwest, for instance, found that patients who had access to the system's EHR through an integrated personal health record (PHR) were more than twice as likely to remain loyal to the health plan.[5] The combined PHR/EHR turned out to be the third strongest predictor of patient retention, trailing behind membership tenure and illness burden.

The e-prescribing tools embedded in many EHR systems are especially appealing to patients. A study found that 1 year after an e-prescribing system was set up, "both provider and patient satisfaction with electronic prescribing was very high."[6]

Of course, many patients still have concerns about EHRs. One survey found that 85% were worried about the privacy of their records once physicians began using such systems.[7] And many complain that they are not getting the attention they once did.

Still, it's vitally important to improve the patient's experience, says Budman. He adds, "And we don't have that experience in healthcare...Medicine doesn't look at how other industries are successful when it comes to customer satisfaction. And we need to."

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