The Benefits of EMR Surpass Potential Privacy Risks

By   |  October 9, 2014

Earlier this year, a survey by Accenture determined that patients with chronic health conditions are more likely to access their Electronic Medical Records (EMR) than patients without serious health concerns. Patients included in the May 2014 survey suffered from health issues ranging from chronic forms of cancer to asthma.

51 percent of the 2,000 patients included in the Accenture survey also believed that the benefits of accessing their EMR far outweighed any risk of privacy invasion. As with any online record format, there are concerns about data breaches with any EMR system. Interestingly, though, patients indicated during the survey that they were more concerned about their financial information being compromised during an online banking transaction than they were about their health information being placed at risk in the event of an EMR system breach.

Not only did the survey's findings indicate that chronically ill patients access their EMR more frequently than healthier patients, the results also found that chronically ill patients want to use their health records to make informed decisions about their medical care.

Benefits Vs. Risk

However, the survey detected a difference in how patients with different chronic illnesses viewed the benefits and risks of EMR. For example, patients with more serious illnesses, including cancer, believed that the benefits of checking their medical records online outweighed any potential privacy risks. Meanwhile, patients with less serious conditions, such as asthma and arthritis, were less certain about the benefits of EMR and expressed a bit more concern about potential security risks.

Overall, the patients surveyed expressed confidence in EMR and believed it was their basic right to have immediate access to all of their health information online.

Today, federal legislation encourages physicians to adapt EMR into their practice, and educate patients on how to digitally access their medical information. Implementing an effective EMR system into a medical practice not only improves quality care and efficiency for doctors, but may also lead to greater patient satisfaction.

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You can learn how to seamlessly integrate an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) portal to your practice's website by using Dr. Leonardo. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer!