As EMR adoption gains in U.S. healthcare, internet-based personal health records (PHRs) will influence the healthcare industry, according to a new report from healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information.
Patients can obtain information, such as laboratory results, radiology reports, medication lists and culture test results with the click of a mouse. Kalorama’s report, “U.S. Markets for EMR Technology,” examined how the focus of ownership of medical records is shifting from one that is distributed among various healthcare providers to one that is shared and controlled by both the patient and the provider.
Patients’ and physicians’ interest in viewing records online has increased, since giving patients online access to their own charts is expected to enhance the doctor-patient relationship and reduce healthcare costs, according to the report.
“The driver for EMR sales has always been hospital-side, as in ‘this can reduce your costs,’” said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama. “That’s still true, but with PHRs, the driver is also on the consumer side, as in ‘this can make your organization seem friendly and modern to healthcare consumers.’”
As of 2007, there were 787,000 office-based physicians and 5,708 hospitals in the nation. Total EMR implementation costs are estimated between $68 billion and $255 billion. Kalorama forecasts the EMR market to grow by 14.1 percent annually through 2012 from $9.5 billion in 2007.