Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HIT for Patient Care Supported

The Markle “Survey of Health in a Networked Life” is the first survey to compare the core values of physicians and patients. The survey shows that both doctors and patients overwhelmingly agree on health IT priorities to improve patient care and that health IT will increase the quality, safety, and cost efficiency of care, as well as provide core privacy protections.

“A surprising 74 percent of doctors say they want to be able to share patient information with other professionals electronically. As medical professionals shift from paper records to electronic systems, the public and physicians overwhelmingly agree that we need to measure the payoff from investments in information technology in terms of better health and more cost-efficient care,” according to Markle President Zoe Baird.

“Roughly 80 percent majorities of both the public and doctors agree that it is important to require participating hospitals and doctors to share information to better coordinate care, cut unnecessary costs, and reduce medical errors,”, said Carol Diamond, MD, Managing Director of the Markle Foundation, a New York based nonprofit foundation.

“By the same overwhelming margin, four in five doctors and patients expressed the importance of privacy protections for online medical records, an expectation we have repeatedly found expressed by the public in our previous surveys. They also agree on the importance of measuring progress,” said Diamond.

Majorities of 70 percent to 80 percent of both patients and doctors support letting people see if their records have been accessed, patients being notified if they are affected by information breaches, and giving people the mechanisms to correct information if needed.

Of the doctors surveyed, 94 percent said their patients sometimes forget or lose track of potentially important things they are told during doctor visits, and 34 percent of the doctors said they themselves at least sometimes forget or lose track of potentially important things that their patients tell them. Among the patient group, 30 percent perceived that their doctors forget or lose track of potentially important information at least sometimes.

Among the public, 10 percent reported having an electronic Personal Health Record (PHR) which is up from 3 percent who reported having a PHR in Markle’s 2008 survey. “Past surveys show that most adults believe personal health records should include copies of their own medical information to help them improve their health and communicate better with health professionals,” reports Josh Lernieux, Director of Personal Health Technology at Markle.

He said, “This survey indicates that there is an increase in PHR use and also that roughly two out of three doctors agree that patients should have the option of online access to their personal health information.

Knowledge Networks (KN) conducted the surveys August 10-26, 2010. The general population survey of 1,582 adults age 18 and older used KN’s KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel of 50,000 individuals designed to be representative of the U.S. populations. The survey of 779 physicians was conducted using KN’s Physicians Consulting Network (PCN), an invitation-only list of more than 45,000 practicing physicians.

Results of the survey are available at