Patients Want Online Access to Their Health Information

Samara Rosenfeld
JANUARY 14, 2019
health data, PHI, big data

Patients want online access to their health information to make better decisions for themselves and their loved ones, according to the results from Quest Diagnostics' “Know Your Numbers” survey.
 
Based on the results, about 47 percent of respondents agreed to wanting online access to their health records.
 
And while 94 percent of Americans knew their Social Security number and 80 percent knew their social media passwords, there was a substantial gap in knowledge of key medical information.

>> READ: Electronic Health Information Exchange Use in Skilled Nursing Facilities
 
Fewer than three in five (57 percent) Americans knew their blood type, but 55 percent recalled their childhood phone number.
 
Only 38 percent of respondents reported knowing their cholesterol, while 33 percent knew their blood sugar levels.
 
The survey revealed that 40 percent of respondents either did not have or were unsure if they have access to their lab test results online. Nearly 20 percent said in the past year a health professional requested their lab results, but the patient did not have them available.
 
But while many patients did not know their healthcare information, they appeared to care about their health.
 
A majority of the respondents (87 percent) recognized there are good reasons to have access to health information online.
 
“Consumers want to know the information that drives important healthcare decisions and they want to have it available no matter where they are,” the company reported.
 
The survey represented the views of 1,004 adults 18 years old and older and asked questions regarding tracking important information in their daily lives from important numbers and passwords to vital personal healthcare statistics.
 
According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) 2018 Report to Congress, despite the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule that grants patients the right to access their data, most patients do not have access.

While Quest Diagnostics is using a digital platform called MyQuest to address this solution, many government agencies are working to improve the interoperability of electronic health records (EHRs).
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a draft strategy that hopes to improve the functionality and ease of use of EHRs for clinicians, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and ONC are working with stakeholders and payers to identify the best practices of health IT to improve experience and satisfaction of end users — because right now, the health tech is not being used to its full potential, adding to the already detrimental physician burnout epidemic.
 
If health systems standardize EHRs, more patients could have access to their medical records.
 
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