Poll Shows Americans Value EMR Benefits Over Privacy Concerns
As those who are familiar with MEDecision might imagine, this was music to our collective ears (or eyes, as it were). The WSJ/Harris poll bears out an important belief we've held for some time; one that I've represented in various public forums on several occasions: By all means, privacy concerns are real and legitimate when we talk about the proliferation of health information exchange and EMRs. However, we can't let ourselves get so caught up in the privacy issue that we compromise progress on the greater matter at hand, which is electronically gathering and deploying clinical information to improve care. In other words, the greater risk right now is not the misuse of clinical information, it's the non-use of it.
Apparently, a majority of Americans agree with our reasoning. According to the WSJ/Harris poll, about 60 percent of the people surveyed said that the benefits of EMRs outweigh potential security risks. Three-quarters of people surveyed said they think that care would improve if doctors and other parties could share information electronically. More than 60 percent thought that sharing information would decrease medical errors and over 50 percent think doing so could lower costs.
The WSJ article went on to mention that technology is likely to become a large part of the healthcare debate in the 2008 elections, and I'm inclined to agree. Based on the results of the poll, however, it looks like consumer confidence in EMRs is growing, which should send a message to our politicians that America is ready to move forward with them.
David St.Clair is founder and CEO of MEDecision.
You can contribute to HealthLeaders Media. Read our editorial guidelines to find out how.
- Two-Midnight Rule Must be Fixed or Replaced, Say Providers
- Don't Underestimate Emotional Intelligence
- The Secret to Physician Engagement? It's Not Better Pay
- CDC Warns of Antibiotic Overuse in Hospitals
- Care Coordination Tough to Define, Measure
- SCOTUS Review of NC Board Case 'A Very Big Deal' to Providers
- Yale New Haven Health Partners with Tenet Healthcare in CT
- Physicians Take SGR Repeal Message to Washington
- Size Matters in Antibiotic Overuse
- Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research: Avoiding Confusion