I came upon this very interesting piece a few days ago
The Commonwealth Fund has released the results of its 2008 Survey of Public Views of the U.S. Health Care System, conducted by Harris Interactive. According to a telephone survey of 1,004 random U.S. adults, 80 percent of respondents believe that the healthcare system needs either fundamental change or complete rebuilding.
Approximately one of five adults with Internet access is able to communicate electronically with their doctors (21%) or schedule appointments online (19%).
See the full blog here:
Seeing as there was a lot of discussion about Health IT I noted this and followed the link below.
The blog post provides a link to a Commonwealth Fund Survey
The Abstract of the .pdf reads as follows:
Public Views on U.S. Health System Organization: A Call for New Directions
Sabrina K. H. How, Anthony Shih, Jennifer Lau, and Cathy Schoen
Abstract: On behalf of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, Harris Interactive surveyed a random sample of 1,004 U.S. adults (age 18 and older) to determine their experiences and perspectives on the organization of the nation’s health care system and ways to improve patient care. Eight of 10 respondents agreed that the health system needs either fundamental change or complete rebuilding. Adults’ health care experiences underscore the need to organize care systems to ensure timely access, better coordination, and better flow of information among doctors and patients. There is also a need to simplify health insurance administration. There was broad agreement among survey respondents that wider use of health information systems and greater care coordination could improve patient care. The majority of adults say it is very important for the 2008 presidential candidates to seek reforms to address health care quality, access, and costs.
The key section from the perspective of this blog is the following:
The public strongly endorsed the use of information technology, particularly computerized medical records and information exchange across sites of care, as a way to improve patient care (Exhibit 7).
· There is strong support among adults (86%) for doctors’ use of computerized medical records.
· Nearly nine of 10 adults (89%) believe it is important for doctors to be able to access test results electronically.
· The same proportion of adults (89%) believes it is important for doctors to be able to exchange information with other doctors electronically.
. Seven of 10 adults (71%) endorse the use of electronic prescribing to improve patient care.
Strong public support for the use of health information technology stands in stark contrast to actual practice in the United States. In a 2006 survey of primary care physicians in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the U.S. fell well below leading countries on use of health information systems. Only 28 percent of U.S. primary care physicians reported using electronic medical records in their practice, compared with 98 percent in the Netherlands, 92 percent in New Zealand, and 89 percent in the U.K.4 The percent of U.S. doctors using systems with multiple functions—such as electronic ordering of prescriptions and tests or computerized alerts about potential drug problems—was even lower. Only 19 percent of U.S. primary care practices reported having such high-capacity systems, compared with as many as 87 percent in leading countries.
Adults are also interested in being able to access their medical records and communicate with physicians electronically. While few adults currently have such abilities, many would be interested in managing their care online or via e-mail (Exhibit 8).
- Approximately one of five adults with Internet access is able to communicate electronically with their doctors (21%) or schedule appointments online (19%).
- Only one of 10 (9%) adults can access their medical records via the Internet.
- Of those who cannot access their medical records via the Internet, nearly half (49%) would like to do so. An even greater proportion of adults would like to be able schedule appointments online (57%) or communicate electronically with their doctors (58%).
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As I read it what the survey is saying is that the US public think their healthcare system is broken big time and that Health IT could really help make it better.
The full report is well worth a read.