While there are many concerns surrounding the security of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), a recent survey conducted at the University of Chicago showed that the majority of Americans (64%) are in favor of being able to access their own personal health records online. Half of the people polled worried about the security of their electronic medical records, but the control and accessibility of their health information took preference to these concerns.

One of the most important benefits of electronic medical records is the much simpler exchange of health information between the doctor and their patients. However, patients are less in favor of EMR when asked about having to pay for them.

A large amount of people (80%) find e-prescribing favorable, which allows for doctors to electronically send prescriptions to a pharmacy. E-prescribing also helps to reduce medication errors, and in turn increases patient safety.

If patient electronic medical records are easily accessible and available, patients are more likely to take the initiative to find out how to stay healthier and listen to their physician’s medical advice. Companies like IBM are already leading the way towards creating patient portals to help patients manage all their health data. Long term this will lead to a healthier population with a lower expenditure on their personal healthcare and illnesses, while empowering patients with the tools necessary to have a role in their own diagnosis and treatment.