Health IT

Consumers weigh in on patient portals, whether physicians spend too much time on EHRs

Do EHRs make healthcare more or less safe? Do physicians spend too much time on EHRs? These are a few of the questions that HEALTHeLink asked 1,000 consumers in Western New York as part of a new survey.

telehealth, telemedicine, computer, technology, physician, nurse, telehealth, healthcare technology

A new survey from HEALTHeLink, a clinical information exchange based in Buffalo, New York, took a closer look at consumers’ thoughts on electronic health records.

The survey was conducted via phone in September 2017 among 1,000 individuals in Western New York.

The results? Ninety percent indicated they knew their physician uses EHRs.

Patients also seem relatively informed about providers exchanging information. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they were aware their doctor use EHRs to send and receive medical information to and from other physicians involved in their care.

Despite staying in the know, consumers have mixed feelings about EHRs. Of respondents, 51 percent said they believe EHRs make healthcare “more safe.” Eighteen percent said the technology makes healthcare “less safe,” and 24 percent believe EHRs make “no impact.”

Interestingly, among those who visit a doctor more than 15 times per year, 57 percent said EHRs make healthcare “more safe.”

Sponsored Post

Physician Targeting Using Real-time Data: How PurpleLab’s Alerts Can Help

By leveraging real-time data that offers unprecedented insights into physician behavior and patient outcomes, companies can gain a competitive advantage with prescribers. PurpleLab®, a healthcare analytics platform with one of the largest medical and pharmaceutical claims databases in the United States, recently announced the launch of Alerts which translates complex information into actionable insights, empowering companies to identify the right physicians to target, determine the most effective marketing strategies and ultimately improve patient care.

Safety aside, electronic health records undoubtedly have their downfalls. It’s practically become a mantra that EHRs take up too much of physicians’ time. A study from the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association found that the average primary care physician spends 5.9 hours out of their 11.4-hour workday in the EHR.

Yet the majority of consumers don’t seem to think EHRs are a timesuck. Sixty percent of respondents said “no” when asked if their provider spends too much time on a computer during their visit.

Thirty-seven percent said “yes” when asked the same question. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that amount rose to 47 percent among individuals who visit a doctor five times per year.

As far as patient portals are concerned, 72 percent of consumers said they were aware that their primary care physician has a patient portal. Of those respondents who were aware, 56 percent said they used the portal. This, according to the survey, means that about 41 percent of all the respondents used their patient portal.

Photo: Ian Hooton, Getty Images