SOURCE: Kalorama Information

December 30, 2008 15:31 ET

Online Access of Patient Health Records Adds New Dimension to EMR

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 30, 2008) - As EMR adoption makes big gains in healthcare, a new trend is emerging in the form of internet-based Personal Health Records (PHR), which will vastly influence the healthcare industry. Patients can obtain information, such as laboratory results, radiology reports, medication lists, and culture test results with the click of a mouse. A new report from Kalorama Information, "U.S. Markets for EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Technology," notes this trend and examines 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.

"The driver for EMR sales has always been hospital-side, as in 'this can reduce your costs,'" said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "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.'"

UnitedHealth Group, in an effort to compete with Google Health and Microsoft's HealthVault, just announced its new www.myoptumhealth.com on December 1, which allows patients to create and manage their own digital health records. If patients need to refill a prescription or view the latest test result, they can access it from their PCs, instead of making the usual phone call.

These sites provide patients access to information that is otherwise complex to obtain, and the online charts are combined with other services, such as appointment and referral requests, resulting in more productive office visits.

As of 2007, there were 787,000 office-based physicians and 5,708 hospitals in the US. Total EMR implementation costs are estimated between $68 billion and $255 billion. Kalorama Information forecasts the EMR market to grow by 14.1% annually through 2012 from $9.5 billion in 2007.

Kalorama Information's new report "U.S. Markets for EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Technology," discusses developments in EMR use in healthcare, trends driving the market, regulatory issues, a comparison of EMR vendor offerings, types of systems being requested by hospitals and physicians, and the costs of installing an EMR system. A market overview, market estimates and forecasts through 2012 are included, as well as profiles of leading companies. For further information visit: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=64763&productid=1636276.

About Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information supplies the latest in independent market research in the life sciences, as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics.

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