41% would switch doctors for EMRs

Forty-one percent of U.S. consumers are willing to switch physicians to gain online access to their own EMRs, according to a survey conducted by Accenture.

The survey, of more than 9,000 people in nine countries, shows that only about one-third of U.S. consumers (36 percent) currently have full access to their EMR, but more than half (57 percent) have taken ownership of their record by self-tracking their personal health information, including their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and health indicators (33 percent), such as blood pressure and weight.

“The rise of Meaningful Use mandates and a growing trend of self-care among consumers is shifting the role of an EMR from a mere clinical repository to a platform for shared decision-making among consumers and doctors,” said Kaveh Safavi MD, JD, managing director of Accenture’s North America health business. “Just as consumers can self-manage most other aspects of their lives, they expect to take greater ownership of their medical care, and they are willing to switch to doctors who share their values and are willing to provide access to consumer records.”

The majority (84 percent) of consumers surveyed believe they should have full access to their EMR while only a third of physicians (36 percent) share this belief.  In contrast, the majority (65 percent) of U.S. doctors say patients should only have limited access to their records and that is what most individuals (63 percent) say they currently have.
 
“When consumers are part of the record-keeping process, it can increase their understanding of conditions, improve motivation and serve as a clear differentiator for clinical care,” added Safavi.