This excerpt taken from the UNH 8-K filed Dec 19, 2006.
Missed opportunities to improve health care coordination, quality, safety and cost effectiveness
Minneapolis (August 1, 2006) A nationwide survey of a cross section of Americans reveals that a relatively small number of people use online personal health records to organize their comprehensive health history, despite the growing availability, ease of use and security of this new health tool. The use of such data has been regarded as valuable in helping to improve individual health and is important given the increasing fragmentation of health care delivery and recognition that medical errors result from poor coordination of health care interventions. According to the survey, commissioned by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) and conducted by Harris Interactive®, only 7 percent of U.S. adults use online personal health records and 35 percent of people surveyed were not even aware this resource technology exists.
We know from experience that consumer friendly, integrated and comprehensive health records result in more informed, safer and cost-effective decisions between patients and their health care professionals. This is especially true when information is needed during emergencies, at night or on weekends when other sources of information may not be available, said Archelle Georgiou, M.D., executive vice president of Specialized Care Services, a UnitedHealth Group business, and a specialist trained in internal medicine. These survey results clearly demonstrate that while important capabilities now exist, consumers need to be better educated about the availability and value of personal health records and encouraged to use them, Georgiou added.