SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The majority of Australian health patients (78 per cent) believe they should have full access to electronic medical records (EMR), but roughly only 1 in 4 consumers (22 per cent) say this what they currently have, according Accenture's nine-country survey of more than 9,000 consumers, including 1,002 Australians. These findings are also consistent with other research that shows only 18 per cent of Australian doctors believe patients should have full access to his or her own record.
Supporting the growing trend of patient engagement, nearly half of Australian consumers (47 per cent) surveyed without online access to their medical records would be willing to switch doctors to gain access. This percentage rises to 55 per cent among consumers under 55 years in age without online access to their records.
“The health sector is developing more advanced electronic capabilities to support clinical decision-making and more integrated care. Consumer engagement is a part of this, but not necessarily a primary driver”, said Leigh Donoghue, managing director of Accenture’s health business in Australia. “This may need rethinking in light of the considerable gap between doctor and consumer attitudes towards electronic access to medical records, particularly for younger, technology-savvy consumers”.
The patient survey also revealed the majority of Australian patients (60 per cent) do not actively track aspects of their health, such as health indicators, health history and physical activity. This finding was significantly higher than in other surveyed countries, as nearly half of patients (48 per cent) across all nine-countries surveyed say they do not actively track these aspects of their health.
Over three-quarters of consumers in Australia (78 per cent) reported that they currently have limited or no access to their electronic medical records while the percentage declined slightly for consumers (70 per cent) ages 18 to 34 years-old. However, there was only a slight difference between male (46 per cent) and female (39 per cent) consumers that believe they should be able to update all information within their health record.
“It is essential that we find a way to balance the legitimate needs and concerns of Australian doctors with the rising needs and expectations of consumers in a digital age,” said Donoghue. “More must be done to enable consumers to play an active role in their own care.”
Accenture conducted an online survey of 9,015 adults ages 18+ to assess consumer perceptions of their medical providers’ electronic capabilities across nine countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. The survey, which included 1,002 Australian consumers, was fielded by Harris Interactive in July 2013. Where relevant, the survey compares select findings from the Accenture Doctors Survey to compare the doctor and consumer responses.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 275,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com.