A new survey conducted by National Public Radio, in conjunction with The Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard school of Public Health, found that the majority of Americans are in favor of Electronic Health Records and believe that they will improve the state of healthcare. However, the survey also revealed that privacy and security of EHRs remain the biggest concern among those Americans likely to adopt them.  

The survey reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans approved of the concept of EHRs. Yet 60% responded to interviewers that they felt a lack of confidence that their health information would not be compromised and shared illicitly.

The survey found that 67% of Americans think that EHRs would improve healthcare overall and 62% said they felt that their own personal healthcare would be improved if their practitioners and service providers converted to EHRs.

When it comes to the economic value of EHRs, the survey revealed that thoughts were not so clear cut. Only 22% of respondents felt that EHRs would ultimately lower the cost of healthcare, while 34% felt they may actually increase costs, and 36% felt EHRs would have no effect on the cost of healthcare.

In an interview with NPR, Mollyann Brodie with the Kaiser Family Foundation said that Americans have a lot of experience dealing with computerized records, and accept the risk of a security breech, even though 76% of those surveyed felt that it was likely their records would be accessed by unauthorized individuals.

The survey also found:

  • 58% say electronic records would lead to fewer people getting unnecessary care.
  • 53% say EHRs would lead to fewer people getting sick or dying as a result of medical errors.
  • 46% say their doctor usually enters health information into a computer during a visit.
  • 9% say they have accessed medical test results online.