A new survey finds patients overwhelmingly believe electronic health records improve the quality of care, but are worried about security of their information.

The National Partnership for Women & Families commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the survey, which was done in August 2011 and polled 1,961 adults nationwide.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents’ physicians use an EHR and 41 percent primarily have paper records. When asked whether EHRs are useful in accomplishing seven treatment goals, 88 percent to 97 percent of patients with EHRs agreed, as did 80 percent to 97 percent of patients with paper records, depending on the goals.

The goals were timely access to all relevant data, quick test and lab results, improved medical records accuracy, patient adherence to instructions, making or changing appointments, improved patient communication with physicians and medication adherence. Other survey results include:

* 73 percent of EHR respondents say their doctor’s use of the software positively affects the overall quality of service, compared with 26 percent with paper records;

* 80 percent of EHR respondents believe their physician has more timely access to information from the care team, compared with 29 percent with paper records;

* 80 percent of the 26 percent of EHR respondents who had online access to their information actually use the service;

* 75 percent of paper-based patients want their physician to adopt EHRs; and

* While surveyed patients generally trust EHRs more than paper records, there is deep concern about breaches. Fifty-nine percent of EHR patients and 66 percent of paper-based patients say widespread EHR adoption will lead to more personal information being compromised. And slightly more than half of both groups believe state and federal laws, and organizational practices, are not doing well at protecting health information.

The survey is available here.

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