Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Electronic Medical Records - Who Cares?

One of the greatest risks to the implementation of eHealth systems is the lack of awareness by decision-makers about what is happening in the real world - a lack of understanding of what the real users - patients and caregivers - really think.

Cybercitizen® Health is a syndicated consumer study and marketing data set of Manhattan Research, primarily focused on key research topics and trends impacting the ehealth market. they have recently released their annual Cybercitizen® Health report.

The following is from the ScribeMedia website.

"When asked about their interest in accessing health records electronically, only 1% of U.S. adults report currently using electronic medical or health records, while 64% report they are “not at all interested in using” an EMR.

Given the lack of consumer interest, can we expect EMR adoption will instead be driven by physicians? The story there is not any more encouraging: only 26% of primary care physicians use electronic medical records in their office, and almost one-third of PCPs have no interest in using electronic medical records in the future.

What does this mean for the future of the health IT movement? Adoption of electronic health records will clearly not be driven by consumers, who are not convinced that electronic health records are necessary; nor will adoption be driven by physicians, who in many cases, are unwilling to foot the bill or invest the time and resources required for such a substantial change in practice management – and especially heavy burden for smaller practices.

Instead, the electronic medical record movement will have to be driven by government legislation or by incentives from payers, who stand to benefit from the vast opportunities for data mining that could be made available through electronic medical records."

Sounds right to me.

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