A survey of English adults on behalf of the Medical Protection Society.
Date Published: 29 Apr 2013
Categories: Health | Professionals | Public Sector | Social | UK
87% of doctors think online medical records will raise patient expectations, MPS report reveals
The Medical Protection Society (MPS) has launched a report on the views of doctors and the public on online medical records. One of the issues highlighted is the disparity between the services that patients expect they will receive through online access to their records and what doctors think is realistic in the immediate term.
Dr Stephanie Bown, Director of Policy and Communications at MPS says:
“We support online access to medical records as a way of helping patients increase their knowledge and understanding, promote autonomy and enhance the doctor-patient relationship. However, there are risks that need to be addressed and the current rhetoric does not reflect what is practical and realistic.
“One of the advantages of online access is that patients can be more involved in their care and able to identify mistakes in their records. This already happens to a certain extent with paper records, as a quarter of patients who already access their records do so to check the accuracy. However, there is a disparity in views as 40% of the public who would like to be able to make changes to their medical records would like to do so regardless of whether their GP approves of them or not, whilst only 7.5% of doctors would want patients to make changes, without their approval.
“It was also concerning to find out that a quarter (26%) of the public agree that they should be able to request that their entire medical record is deleted. There is a common understanding as to what medical records are for and patient and doctors need supporting to develop a collaborative approach to amending medical records to achieve this purpose.
“Our survey also revealed that 87% of doctors think online access to records will increase expectations for speedier help, which is supported by over half (54%) of the public expecting a response to an email for ‘routine support’ within a day, compared to only 14% of doctors. This stark difference suggests that what the public expects is at odds with what the doctor think is realistic.
“There needs to be careful efforts to avoid inflating public expectations beyond what can realistically be delivered and creating public disenchantment with what will be a valuable innovation. A more collaborative approach, listening to the concerns of both doctor and patient, could realign patient expectations with the complicated reality of delivering modern healthcare.
ComRes interviewed 1,766 English adults online between 2 and 4 November 2012, on behalf of the Medical Protection Society (MPS). Data were weighted by the figures in the National Readership Survey to be demographically representative of all English adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.