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All Things HIT

Jun 29 2010   10:36PM GMT

Increasing EHR adoption through patient education?

Posted by: AllinHIT

Harris Interactive released the results of a patient poll on EH’s.  Close to one-half of approximately 2,200 people surveyed,  stated EHRs will improve efficiency of our healthcare delivery system. However, it also revealed that patients really don’t understand the impact EHRs have on their care.

This should be a wake up call to the ONC, the RECs, and lastly, physicians. Strategies for educating the public on the benefits of EHR adoption, should be developed and financed as a part of HITECH.  The RECs should be used as educators, not only to the physician community, but to the general public.  Once the public really understands how EHR benefits their delivery of care, physician’s will have added pressure to adopt and use the technology. Physicians who have adopted EHRs, can show patients their electronic chart, giving them an added confidence in your service.

A few years ago, I educated all my friends on the benefits of electronic prescribing.  I discussed about real benefits, like not having to go back to the pharmacy (formulary issues), reduction of ADE’s (Adverse Drug Effects) from drug contraindications (knowing what other meds you are on), and saving you from losing that written prescription.  Once I explained these benefits, my friends really understood how this impacts them directly, and some have discussions with their physicians about adopting the ePre!

I think we all can have a positive effect on adoption, by educating those around us.  Our small efforts, along with some ONC intitiatives,  will increase EHR adoption and its value to the physician.  After all, isn’t quality of care for patients the driving force behind EHR adoption?

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