Survey shows that 74% of Americans do not want their medical records to be digital

If you’re old enough to remember the first ATM machines you’ll probably also remember that most people you spoke with about them felt they were completely insecure and promised never to use them.  If you’re not that old you may remember when it first became possible to purchase goods and services on the Internet.   How many people did you speak with who said they would NEVER order anything on the Internet.  It just wasn’t safe.

With that as a background it’s not surprising to learn that a recent survey, conducted for Xerox by Harris Interactive, this past May found that 74% of Americans do not want their medical records to be in digital.   These findings come from the third annual Electronic Health Records online survey of 2,147 U.S. adults.

According to the survey, only 40 percent of respondents believe digital records will deliver better, more efficient care. That response fell two percent from last year’s survey and matches the response reported in 2010. Overall, 85 percent of respondents this year expressed concern about digital medical records.

“We continue to see a resistance to change from consumers – meaning providers need to continue to educate Americans on the value of EHRs,” said Chad Harris, group president, Xerox Healthcare Provider Solutions.

Despite consumers’ misgivings of the value of EHRs, caregivers are quick to adopt digital technology. When asked how their healthcare provider recorded medical information during their last visit to a doctor or hospital, 60 percent of respondents – who have visited a doctor or hospital – reported that the information was entered directly into a tablet, laptop or in-room computer station versus 28 percent who reported the information was taken via handwritten notes.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xerox from May 11-15, 2012 among 2,147 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.