In the debate over health care, politicians and experts frequently talk about making the system more efficient. But what do Americans think? A new poll explores public opinion on proposed health care changes ranging from computerizing medicine to comparing treatment effectiveness.
Poll Findings: Cost, Privacy Top Health Care Concerns
In March 2009, NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a poll about health care, surveying more than 1,000 randomly selected respondents. Below, some of the questions asked -- and the poll's findings.
Perceived Effects Of Computerizing Medical Records
If the U.S. adopted a system in which medical records were kept electronically and could be shared online, how likely do you think it is that ...?
The Importance And Cost Of Going Digital
How important do you think it is for the health care providers you see to use electronic or computer-based medical records instead of using paper-based records?
Impact On Cost
If the U.S. adopted a system where medical records were kept electronically and could be shared online, do you think the overall cost of health care in the country would go up, go down or stay about the same?
Deciding Effectiveness Of Treatments
There has been some discussion about having an outside group make recommendations on which tests and treatments insurance should pay for. How much would you trust each of the following to make these recommendations?
Coordination of Care
In general, do you think that coordination among all of the different health professionals that you see is a major problem, a minor problem or not a problem at all?
Most Americans do think Obama's push for electronic medical records would improve health care, but they don't think it would lower costs or protect their privacy, a new NPR-Kaiser-Harvard poll finds. And, many people trust their doctors but worry about the idea of a government panel deciding which treatments are most effective.
Americans don't trust that their health records will be very private if they're computerized, but they still think digitally connecting hospitals and doctors is worth doing to improve health care, according to a new NPR-Kaiser-Harvard poll.