According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, patients still aren't entirely excited about their doctor's EMR implementation in the office. The survey asked patients questions about their concerns with security, confidentiality and who really benefits from EMRs. The patients’ legitimate concerns can be easily placated by just sitting down and talking to them about the new system.
The biggest apprehension patients had about their doctor implementing an EMR software program is that their medical information could get stolen by hackers. Another security concern was that their medical information could be misused. With all the hacking stories in the news, it’s justifiable. System hacking can be best prevented by having separate passwords for each application. It is also important to purchase only Certified EMR products that meet data protection standards. Also, it is important to explain to the patients that the same HIPAA regulations apply to electronic records as paper ones and medical records can only be accessed with a password.
Another concern patients had was that they aren’t really to benefit from an electronic system. They see it is just a way for doctors to speed through patients faster. The patient may not be able to play with the PC tablet and push the buttons, but in the end, it’s all for their benefit. Yes, having an EMR will speed up doctor work flow but it will allow for the doctor to see more patients in a day/week then in the past. Procedures as well as medication names and doses will be electronically coded which will lead to fewer errors due to the elimination of having to read messy handwriting.
The good news is that 42% of patients really do believe that EMR implementation would lead to better and more efficient care (as long as it works the way it’s supposed to) and, in the end, is a necessary step in medical technology.