More than Forty Percent of U.S. Consumers Willing to Switch Physicians to Gain Online Access to Electronic Medical Records, According to Accenture Survey
Majority of patients have taken ownership of records by self-tracking personal health information
ARLINGTON, Va; Sept. 16, 2013 – Supporting the growing trend toward patient engagement, a recent Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey found that many U.S. consumers (41 percent) would be willing to switch doctors to gain online access to their own electronic medical records (EMR). The survey, of more than 9,000 people in nine countries, shows that only about a third of U.S. consumers (36 percent) currently have full access to their EMR, but more than half (57 percent) have taken ownership of their record by self-tracking their personal health information, including their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and health indicators (33 percent), such as blood pressure and weight.
“The rise of Meaningful Use mandates and a growing trend of self-care among consumers is shifting the role of an EMR from a mere clinical repository to a platform for shared decision-making among consumers and doctors,” said Kaveh Safavi M.D., J.D., managing director of Accenture’s North America health business. “Just as consumers can self-manage most other aspects of their lives, they expect to take greater ownership of their medical care, and they are willing to switch to doctors who share their values and are willing to provide access to consumer records.”
Roughly four out of five consumers (84 percent) surveyed believe they should have full access to their electronic medical record while only a third of physicians (36 percent) share this belief. In contrast, the majority of U.S. doctors (65 percent) say patients should only have limited access to their records and that is what most individuals (63 percent) say they currently have.
“When consumers are part of the record-keeping process, it can increase their understanding of conditions, improve motivation and serve as a clear differentiator for clinical care,” added Safavi.
Accenture conducted an online survey of 9,015 adults ages 18+ to assess consumer perceptions of their medical providers’ electronic capabilities across nine countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. The survey, which included 1,000 U.S. consumers, was fielded by Harris Interactive in July 2013. Where relevant, the survey compares select findings from the Accenture Doctors Survey to compare the doctor and consumer responses.
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Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 266,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Through Accenture Connected Health Services, the company helps health systems improve collaboration and decision-making, while lowering costs, by delivering healthcare IT solutions that enable consumer-centric care delivery and improve operating models. Services combine extensive business and clinical practices with a full range of healthcare IT capabilities, including health information exchanges, electronic health records, population analytics, mobility and telehealth platforms.
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