Healthcare News & Insights

Docs believe EMRs are safer than paper – patients not so sure

A new survey shows a majority of doctors believe electronic health records (EHRs) are better for protecting sensitive patient information than paper charts – but they may need to convince their patients that EHRs are secure.

More than half (54%) of doctors feel EHRs are less susceptible to privacy and security concerns than paper charts, according to a recent survey by Practice Fusion. Just 18% of the 1,220 respondents believe paper records are the safer option (the other 28% weren’t sure).

Doctors who prefer the security of EHRs also cited what they felt were the other top benefits of electronic records:

  1. Having easy access to records whenever they’re needed (63%)
  2. Portability of records between doctors (13%)
  3. More accurate records (13%), and
  4. Protection from loss or theft (11%).

While the majority of doctors are confident in EHR systems’ security, the same can’t be said of their patients. Practice Fusion also surveyed 1,000 patients, 47% of whom believe paper charts are safer than electronic records. EHRs were called more secure by 39%, and the remaining 14% weren’t sure.

The survey has good and bad news for healthcare organizations implementing health IT investments. For those projects to have their maximum impact, both doctors and patients must be on board and comfortable with the change.

Doctors who support the switch to EHRs can help bring patients on board by educating them on the benefits of electronic records.

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