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Want your practice to make friends and influence people? A recent consumer survey indicates 52 percent of patients want what 23 percent already have, which is the ability to tap into their physician’s electronic health records (EHRs) to access their records for test results, to order prescription refills, and to make appointments. A study by Aeffect and 88 Brand Partners released in early August indicates patients who have connected to an EHR via a portal are more satisfied with their doctors overall, by a 78 to 68 percent margin, than those who don’t have access. That same group expressed confidence in the quality of care they received by an 82 to 73 percent margin.
Companies behind the survey said it’s likely patients who can tap directly into their records feel a greater connection with the physician. “The more engaged you can get with your patient, the more loyal they will be,” Michael McGuire, director of strategy at 88 Brand Partners told American Medical News.
And while no one is picking a doctor solely on EHR access, numbers indicate they are thinking of it as one factor, McGuire said.
The survey identified four categories of patients and their relationship to physicians’ EHR:
“Disinterested nonusers,” who believe EHRs are no more accurate than paper files, comprised 18 percent of respondents.
“Interested nonusers,” who tend to be less satisfied with their physician than any other type of user, made up 52 percent.
“Trial users,” a third of whom have just recently started checking records in EHRs, comprised 9 percent.
“Regular users,” one in three of whom are caregivers to an adult family member, made up 13 percent.
According to Tamara O’Shaughnessy, vice president of Aeffect, interested nonusers said they aren’t connecting with EHRs because they haven’t been given access to a patient portal, the physician doesn’t have an EHR, or they don’t know how to use a portal.