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Electronic medical records boost patient satisfaction, loyalty, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Nearly a quarter of Americans are using electronic medical records for checking test results, refilling prescriptions and making appointments, while more than half say they would like to use them, but don’t have access, according to a new study.

The study, by Aeffect and 88 Brand Partners, included 1,000 respondents ages 25 years to 55 years, finding that 24% of them used EMRs, while 52% would like to. At the same time, nearly half of patients take EMR access into consideration when choosing a healthcare provider.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, physicians who have not adopted EMRs by 2015 will have their Medicare reimbursements reduced by 1%, with an additional 1% reduction each year through 2017 and an annual 3% reduction afterward. According to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard School of Public Health and Mathematica Research, the percentage of physicians using EMR has increased from almost 26% in 2010 to more than 38% last year.

Overall, 78% of patients using EMRs expressed satisfaction with their physicians, compared with 68% not using them, as well as higher satisfaction across multiple dimensions of care, such as ease of access to information, clarity and thoroughness of communication and stronger loyalty to their doctors.

 

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