Survey: US doctors say patients can update electronic records but not get full access

Results from an eight country Accenture survey shows that U.S. doctors surveyed have mixed feelings about access to electronic patient records (EPR).  

While some 82 percent of doctors said they thought it was acceptable for patients to be able to update their own records, only a third (31 percent) believe they should have full access. At the same time, 65 percent thought they should have limited access, with 4 percent saying zero access. The survey questioned doctors in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain as well as the United States.

The majority of American doctors (81 percent) believe patients should even be able to add clinical updates to their records such as new symptoms or self-measured metrics, including blood pressure and glucose levels.

Despite the reluctance towards full access, the results are said to demonstrate the growing acceptance of patient involvement in EPR systems and EPR in general, and Accenture believes this trend will continue.

“Many physicians believe that patients should take an active role in managing their own health information, because it fosters personal responsibility and ownership and enables both the patient and doctor to track progress outside scheduled appointments,” said Mark Knickrehm, global managing director of Accenture Health.

“Several U.S. health systems have proven that the benefits outweigh the risks in allowing patients open access to their health records, and we expect this trend to continue.” he said.

Download the survey results

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