1,000 Americans were recently surveyed by Computer Sciences Corporation and it was announced today that 70 percent of Americans indicated they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supported the creation of a nationwide health information network (NHIN). The voting tendencies and attitudes related to health information technology (IT) was explored by the survey, during a presidential election year.
The value of a nationwide health network is valued by the respondents. However, more than two-thirds (67%) have never heard presidential candidates discuss health IT or electronic healthcare records (EHRs).
Enabling health institutions and medical professionals to have electronic access to medical records is an important issue, especially among the younger, tech-savvy demographic. In fact, 84 percent of those aged 18-24 would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the creation of a NHIN, compared to 68 percent of Americans over the age of 25.
“Americans want to see the IT capabilities in healthcare that many other industries such as banking already have, but it will take a partnership between private industry and the government to achieve that result,” said Dr. Robert Wah, chief medical officer for CSC’s North American Public Sector business unit. Prior to joining CSC, Dr. Wah served as acting deputy national coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, advancing President Bush’s executive order to have EHRs for the majority of Americans by 2014.
“By providing better information that enables patients, doctors, healthcare institutions and the government to make better decisions, health IT can dramatically improve the quality of patient care, saving lives and money,” Dr. Wah added. “To address the problems of our healthcare system, the next president will have to look to information technology for sustainable solutions.”
The survey results concur with some of the findings from a 2005 Rand study, which showed that the U.S. healthcare system could save more than $81 billion annually and improve the quality of care if electronic records were adopted. EHR benefits cited in the CSC survey include:
*** 60 percent of Americans believe that patient care can be improved with rapid, secure access to individual health records, especially in the event of an unexpected crisis such as a biological or chemical attack;
*** 36 percent of survey respondents believe EHRs lead to fewer hospital errors; and
*** 48 percent believe EHRs will lead to decreased costs and hassle.
The value of health IT doesn’t stop with EHRs, according to the survey. In fact, three out of four (77%) respondents recognize that a national system can address some of the United States’ most critical health issues, such as improving the quality of patient care (60%); facilitating faster and better medical research (43%); ensuring a quicker response during a national crisis such as epidemics or biological and chemical attacks (39%); ensuring government healthcare programs deliver the highest quality at the lowest costs (29%); and decreasing fraud (28%).
“It is great to see that Americans overwhelmingly support the use of information technology to transform healthcare,” said Mark E. Frisse, M.D., M.B.A., Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Director of the Volunteer eHealth Initiative at Vanderbilt University. “In my work here in Tennessee and around the country, it has been crucial to have strong technology partners. This survey is but one of the ways innovative companies like CSC demonstrates the crucial role they play in thought leadership and insight along with the technology expertise and experience that will ensure that health IT is successful in this country.”
Commissioned by CSC, the survey was conducted by Kelton Research between Jan. 31 and Feb. 5, 2008. All 1,000 participants were aged 18 and above. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.
As a leading global IT services company for nearly 50 years, CSC is transforming healthcare by providing better information for better decisions on many national health IT projects, including building a prototype for a NHIN; deploying public health and disease surveillance systems for the Center for Disease Control; managing the largest Medicaid system in the country, eMed New York; and fighting healthcare fraud. In addition, CSC is connecting health information exchanges around the world, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark.
Computer Sciences Corporation’s mission is to provide customers in industry and government with solutions crafted to meet their specific challenges and enable them to profit from the advanced use of technology.
With approximately 91,000 employees, CSC provides innovative solutions for customers around the world by applying leading technologies and CSC’s own advanced capabilities. These include systems design and integration; IT and business process outsourcing; applications software development; Web and application hosting; and management consulting. CSC reported revenue of $16.1 billion for the 12 months ended Dec. 28, 2007.
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.csc.com/.
Source: Computer Sciences Corporation