Slightly more than one-quarter, or 26%, of adult former hospital patients or care supervisors of hospital patients contacted for a recently released survey said they believe an electronic health record is already available to them.
An additional 46% indicated their belief that electronic records will be used at their local hospitals within five years. Sixty-three percent said it would be "very valuable" to have a complete electronic medical history accessible anywhere in a hospital.
The telephone survey of 948 adults was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. for healthcare information technology provider Siemens Medical Solutions from Sept. 4 to Sept. 9, 2003.
Survey respondents were asked whether they had been hospital patients in the past five years or had overseen the care of someone else hospitalized during that period.
Several recent surveys of healthcare leaders regarding IT usage show that reality mirrors or exceeds public expectations. One survey by Modern Physician and the Kennedy Group to be published Feb. 23 will report that electronic health record penetration in medical groups is 17% of groups surveyed, though another 19% said implementation is under way or planned for the coming year.
Modern Physician's sixth annual technology survey with PricewaterhouseCoopers (November 2003, p. 14) showed nearly 42% of physician executives of hospitals and medical groups said they had already invested in some form of an electronic patient record system. Another 38% said they would do so within the next two years.
In the Opinion Research survey results, 41% of respondents said cost is their greatest hospital healthcare concern, compared with 25% who were most concerned about quality of care.
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