According to a new survey assessing the relation between consumers and healthcare IT, the survey showed that consumers expressed more interest about their own healthcare when they are offered access to information via personal health records (PHR).
PHR use was noted to be of a greater value to older patients who are less educated, living with lower incomes and suffering from chronic conditions. This was reported despite the fact that these patients tend to use PHR less than the younger, better educated and higher-income counterparts. The survey findings mentioned that the income barrier may not be unbeatable, said Steve Findlay, senior health policy analyst for Consumers Union. However, the survey also reported that using PHR is still relatively low. Yet, it has increased by the double in two years, as one between 14 United States citizens mentioned that they have used a PHR, explained Sam Karp, vice president of Programs for CHCF. Moreover, Michael Perry, partner at Lake Research Partners, which carried out the study, said that there has been a "sharp uptick" taking place in the last two years.
The survey also reported that consumers prefer usually to use a PHR offered by their healthcare provider. Kaiser Permanente, for instance, has been noted for its PHR use, according to Kate Christensen, MD, medical director for Kaiser Permanente's Internet Services Group. Dr. Christensen said that the data showed that nearly 50% of its members have a PHR. The significant high adoption rate is caused by the fact that the PHR are provided by a trusted source and includes trusted data and shared information enhancing the patient-physician relationship and mutual communication. Furthermore, Perry added that the survey mentioned that two of three US citizens expressed worries and concerns about their healthcare information privacy and security. Yet, 66% of respondents noted that privacy concerns are not to hinder efforts made to teach users how health information systems benefit the delivered healthcare services.