Healthcare News & Insights

EHR use boosts satisfaction and loyalty, report says

A new survey shows patients want their doctors to use EHR systems – and they would like their own access to electronic records. 

emrBetween experts claiming EHR systems won’t cut costs or improve care and lawmakers urging the federal government to suspend its EHR incentive program, there’s been plenty of debate lately about the value of health IT and what positive outcomes will come from greater adoption of technology in health care.

But a new report offers one big reason to justify hospitals’ and doctors’ adoption of EHR systems: Their patients want them to use electronic records.

That’s the message in a recent survey conducted by Aeffect and 88 Brand Partners. Among the 1,000 patients polled, those whose doctors used EHR systems were more loyal and satisfied with their care compared to the rest.

Close to half of respondents (44%) said they have a more positive impression of their doctor specifically because he or she uses electronic records. Some of the top reasons: Patients believe that an EHR is more accurate than a paper record and that EHR systems enable better coordination of care between providers.

Patients want their own access

However, patients don’t just want their doctors to switch an EHR system — as other studies have shown, they also want to be able to access electronic records on their own.

When asked why they wanted their doctors to use an EHR system, the top answer given, cited by 40% of respondents, was they wanted to be able to view their own records.

The group of survey respondents with access to their own EHR was also the most likely to be satisfied with their care — 78%, compared to 68% for other patients. Those patients are also more likely to stick with their current provider than the others.

Despite that, just 24% of respondents said they currently access an EHR. In comparison, the majority (52%) want to see their records but don’t have access, while only 18% have no interest at all in using an EHR.

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