Patients frustrated by lack of EHR data interoperability, Surescripts finds

A new survey reveals that patients want more connected healthcare, easier access to their records, and more than half have tried to compile their own medical records.
By Bernie Monegain
09:38 AM
patients EHR interoperability surescripts

Patients are unhappy there is no central location for their health records, and they are also frustrated at trying to access and share them, according to a new survey from health information network Surescripts.

The 2016 Connected Care and the Patient Experience survey also revealed that patients expect to see digital  care settings in the near future through the use of telehealth and other technologies.

“Despite major medical and technological advancements in our country, and the fact that patients are more active consumers of care, healthcare is still inefficient, complex and unsatisfying for them,” Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton said.

The Surescripts survey, which polled more than 1,000 AMerians, also found that 94 percent of patients surveyed want their health data to be stored electronically in a single location because doing so would not only save doctors time but also make it less likely they would the wrong medication.

Surescripts also determined that patients are increasingly dissatisfied with the amount of time and effort they’re spending on recounting medical information and waiting in doctors’ offices or pharmacies. Patients are typically spending an average of 8 minutes telling their doctor their medical history (up from 6 minutes in 2015) and 8 minutes filling out paperwork at a typical doctor visit (up from 6 minutes in 2015). Eighty percent of patients indicated they should only have to complete this paperwork the first time they visit a new provider.

These repeat scenarios often stem from a lack of patient data access and information exchange between providers, according to Surescripts findings.

The survey also showed patients are playing a more active role in their care plans and, in fact, 58 percent of patients have tried to compile their own complete medical history — a task that is both tedious and often inaccurate or incomplete.

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