TORONTO; Mar. 4, 2013 – A new Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey shows that most Canadian doctors surveyed (76 percent) want patients to be able to update information in their electronic health record.
However, less than a third of physicians (29 percent) believe a patient should have full access to his or her own record, 57 percent believe patients should have limited access, and 14 percent say patients should have no access (See figure 1).
These findings were consistent among 3,700 doctors surveyed by Accenture in eight countries including Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.
Patients’ Access to Records
While more than half of Canadian doctors (54 percent) surveyed believe patients should not be able to update their lab test results, the majority believe patients should be able to update some or all of the standard information in their health records, including demographics (91 percent), family medical history (85 percent), list of medications (78 percent) and allergies (79 percent). More than three-quarters of Canadian doctors (76 percent) want patients to be able to add some clinical updates to their records, such as new symptoms, changes in symptoms and self-measured metrics, like blood pressure, blood glucose level or fever.(See figure 2: Note percentages in release combine responses for “some information” and “all information.”)
“Many physicians support patients taking an active role in managing their own health information, to further engage patients in their own healthcare, and enable both patient and doctor to track progress outside regularly scheduled appointments” said Sanjay Cherian, Accenture’s health industry lead in Canada. “Canadians can benefit from managing their healthcare information electronically with their physician because patients who have more knowledge, skills and confidence in managing their medical care are better positioned for strong outcomes and cost the health system less.”
Even so, most Canadian doctors (56 percent) disagree that patients having access to their records is crucial to providing effective care. In fact, only five percent of Canadian doctors, the smallest percentage of the countries surveyed, allow patients to have online access to their medical summary or patient chart electronically. Only seven percent of doctors give patients access to their personal or a family member’s test results on a secure website.
Perceptions of Electronic Health Records
The Accenture survey reveals that Canadian doctors are investing in electronic health records, and are positive about the benefits, with the majority of doctors surveyed stating that the quality of patient care has improved (63 percent) through the use of EHR. Half of the Canadian doctors surveyed say paperwork has decreased (47 percent), while 80 percent somewhat agree or strongly agree that they are committed to promoting EHR in their clinical practice, and 63 percent say the right investments in adopting electronic medical records are being made. Most (82 percent) believe electronic health records will become integral to effective patient care in the next two years.
On behalf of Accenture, Harris Interactive conducted an online survey of 3,700 physicians across eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. The survey included 500 doctors per country (200 from Singapore) and assessed the physicians’ adoption, utilization and attitudes toward healthcare IT. The research was conducted between November 2012 and December 2012.
Learn more about Accenture’s Insight Driven Health, Accenture Connected Health Services and Delivering Public Service for the Future.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 259,000 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.